Londonderry Runners Stand Out in Huge 44th Annual GDTC Turkey Trot

Once again, the Greater Derry Track Club’s annual Turkey Trot was a huge success in its 44th running around Beaver Lake in Derry on Thanksgiving morning. And there was no shortage of Londonderry runners – some of whom are members of the GDTC – in the field of 1,442 registrants and 1,315 finishers of the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race.

There were five Londonderry residents in the top 25, including several Londonderry High freshman cross-country stars and former LHS running standout Josh Wasserman, who took a superb fourth place overall. But runners who were home to the Derry area from both far and wide for the holiday competed in the annual event.

Pinkerton Academy cross-country star Joe Gagnon – a Hooksett resident – was first out of the huge field of runners in a time of 16 minutes and 22 seconds. Just six seconds behind him was former PA and Keene State College runner Peter Najem, who now resides in Chicago, and third place was bagged by Manchester resident Craig McMahon in 17:13. Londonderry’s Wasserman came in at fourth in 18:19, and fifth place was taken by Michael Fraysse from Epsom (18:27). The first female finisher was Julia Huffman from Manchester, eighth overall in 18:33.

Mixed in among the top 25 finishers were Londonderry residents and 14-year-old LHS cross-country stalwarts Ryan Young in 11th place (18:47) and Matt Griffin in 18th place (19:03). GDTC running star Mike DuFour from Londonderry snared 21st place (19:23), and his fellow town resident Tyler Kraft – yet another talented 14-year-old – was 23rd (19:29).

In maintaining its ever-present attention to giving back to the community, the GDTC asked that all race entrants donate a non-perishable canned good or dry food item, with those contributions then forwarded to food pantries in the Derry.

With Derry-area folks home for Thanksgiving, the local holiday race had entrants from every one of the New England states as well as New York, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Washington State, DC, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado.

Prizes were given out to the top finishers in a slew of different age categories, with locals bagging a great many of those honors. Among the Londonderry folks who collected awards were Young in the boys’ 1-14 class (first with LHS teammate Griffin second), Wasserman in his boys’ 15-19-year-old division (first), Londonderry High standout runner Kalin Gregoire (tops in the girls’ 15-19 class), Dufour in the males’ 50-59 division (first with Londonderry’s Pete Wasserman second), Wayne Stuck and Dave Law in the 60-69 mens’ grouping (second and third respectively), and John Loker in the guys’ 70-79 class (second overall).

All in all, more than 175 Londonderry residents took part in the annual GDTC race, preparing themselves for the gastronomic goodies ahead later in the day and doing quite well.

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