Every autumn, folks from all over take part in the annual Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC) Turkey Trot around Beaver Lake in Derry.
That was the case once again last Thursday, Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving morning – when the 43rd annual GDTC Turkey Trot 5K Road Race was won by a teen-aged runner hailing from Scotland. But locals from both Derry and Londonderry also excelled in the popular holiday event, that boasted a total of 1,165 finishers this time around.
Eighteen-year-old Aidan Gilbride, who hails from East Kilbride, Scotland but is also presently a freshman running star at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., won the race in a time of 15 minutes and 28 seconds. But he was followed extremely closely by the second through fourth finishers, who all crossed the finish line over the next 11 seconds.
Sam Gagnon of Dover was the runner-up, crossing the line a mere four seconds after champion Gilbride. Chester resident and Pinkerton Academy graduate Jeff Reddy took third place in 15:38 – just six seconds after Gagnon crossed – and 23-year-old Kevin McMahon of Derry crossed the line just one second after Reddy did.
Manchester 13-year-old Morgan Nault was the first female finisher, placing 27th overall in 19:51. This was the second time running the race, and last year she was the third-place female runner.
But runners from both Derry and Londonderry were omnipresent where the final results were concerned.
Of the top 23 finishers, 12 were either from Derry or Londonderry, and nine runners from the two towns won their respective age groups’ titles.
All in all, some 454 racers from Derry and 154 from Londonderry crossed the finish line. Runners from all of the six New England states as well as Virginia, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, Minnesota, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, and Ohio took part in the annual race.
“It was an awesome day and a great turnout,” said race director Sean Coyle. “We had some fast times and it looked like everyone had fun.”
The top male and female finishers from both Derry and Londonderry win awards each year, and this time around the Derry recipients were the aforementioned Kevin McMahon and Pinkerton Academy soccer star Britney Johnson, a 16-year-old who finished 34th overall in 20:19. She was the second female finisher overall.
The first two finishers from Londonderry were 18-year-old Josh Wasserman (11th overall in 18:17) and present Londonderry High junior running standout Kalin Gregoire (37th overall, 20:26). She was the fourth female finisher of the race.
Where age division winners were concerned, there were five from Derry including McMahon in the men’s 20-29 class, Rich Moran in the guys’ 30-39 division (18:36), Shawn Gile in the males’ 40-49 grouping (20:12), Rich DiSalvo in the mens’ 50-59 class (18:32), and GDTC president Jim Peters in the men’s 60-69 division (22:39).
Londonderry division winners included Matt Griffin in the boys’ 1-14 grouping (18:40), Caitlin Boufford in the girls’ 1-14 class (22:06), Gregoire in the girls’ 15-19 grouping, and 73-year-old John Loker in the men’s 70-79-year-old division (29:15).
(all photos in Derry TurkTro folder)
Aidan Gilbride of East Kilbride, Scotland took first place in this year’s 43rd annual GDTC Turkey Trot 5K.
Morgan Nault, a 13-year-old Manchester resident, was the first female to cross the finish line in the race.
The Turkey Trot mascot helped line up runners on Route 102 just before the start of the annual GDTC race on Thanksgiving morning. Photos by Chris Paul