NRAO Turkey Trot Raises Funds For William Dilley Scholarship Fund And PCHS Track Team
Green Bank, WV – The sound of spectators cheering on the competitors at the annual Turkey Trot 5K Race/Walk could be heard quite clearly at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank this past Saturday. Mali Minter is a race volunteer.
“It is a 5k race that’s held at NRAO, that Kay Wiley organizes every year,” she says. “And this year the recipients of the money garnered from the race will be given towards the PCHS [Pocahontas County HS] track team and the William Dilley scholarship fund.”
An unseasonably warm day with temperatures in the high 50’s drew 71 competitors ranging in age from 3 to 80.
“I did this race several years ago and it was windy and cold and snowy,” says Minter. “This is a beautiful race day and we had a lot of extra people I think come out because of that. What’s nice is that we have a lot of local support and no matter what the conditions are we usually get a good number of people out.”
The race has been held every year since 2006.
“Way back in the day it started with the Church of the Brethren youth group did it a couple of years, then the Spanish club took it over for a couple of years,” says Minter. “We wanted to make sure there was an annual race and kinda changed who was benefitting from it depending on which students were able to come and help and work. And then we just turned it into a track benefit because it just seems logical for a race to benefit the track team.”
It also benefits the William Dilley Scholarship fund. Dilley was a track star at the high school and a well loved member of the community. The scholarship benefits track athletes at the high school. One of the athletes was the first to come across the finish line Saturday, Abe Rittenhouse who finished the race in a speedy 16:33.
[Heather] “So I understand you’re a little bit of a ringer’ in this race.” “Well, a little bit; I did it last year too,” says Rittenhouse. “I’m a sophomore at Bridgewater College, majoring in education and just finished a season of cross country.”
[Heather] “What do you like about this race?”
“The scenery’s beautiful and I only live a mile and a half, 2 miles from here so often on my runs whenever I run from home I come through here and loop back around; it’s just a peaceful, beautiful spot. And the course is perfect, you’ve got some downhill, some uphill, pavement and grass, it’s just a nice mixture.”
Another collegiate athlete and PCHS grad Tanner Graham also competed in the race. Both he and Rittenhouse are recipients of William Dilley scholarships. Because they compete at the collegiate level, neither was eligible to win a prize at the race. The next runner to cross the line following Rittenhouse was Brad Zartman, a 14 year old student and track team member at Buckhannon-Upshur high school.
[Heather] “Is this the first time you’ve run the race?”
“Yes it is,” says Zartman. “What did you think?”
“I thought it was a pretty good course,” he says. “It was mostly asphalt which really kills your legs, but I liked it.”
Zartman says the course is relatively easy compared to some of the other races he and his mother have competed in. He says it was worth the trip from Buckhannon.
After announcing the winners Saturday afternoon, there appeared to be some confusion in a couple of the race categories. Race organizer Kay Wiley says the official results will be posted to the website, www.iplayoutside.com later in the week. You can also see results from previous year’s races at that same site.