With the indulgent holiday season approaching, the community is invited to participate in the Lakeville Elementary School third annual Turkey Trot on Saturday.
Participants can choose one of three race distances: The kid's run, the one mile and the 5k.
"(The 5k) is a tough course," said Lakeville physical education teacher and event organizer Megan Stryker, describing the route as a cross country course that winds through the trails, fields and forest behind the rural elementary school.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the Kid's Run at 9:30 a.m., the mile at 9:40 a.m. and the 5k at 10 a.m.
The proceeds from the event directly benefit the students of Lakeville Elementary.
In the first two years, the funds raised were used to purchase wall mats for the gym.
"We have a fully matted gym now, and this year we are going to purchase heart monitors," said Stryker.
The students will take turns wearing the monitors during gym class. The fifth-grade class was given a choice of what to purchase with the Turkey Trot funds.
So far, 75-90 runners have registered for all three events -- many of those being students.
In fact, even more students than usual are participating in the event because of irresistible incentives offered by their teachers.
At West Holmes Middle School, Vice Principal Rick Mullins challenged his students, promising milkshakes to any middle school runner who beats him. At Lakeville, Stryker made the same deal with her students, offering a pizza party in the gym to any participant who out-races her.
"That definitely increased their motivation," said Stryker.
Trophies featuring a running turkey will be awarded to the top male and female overall 5k finishers, as well as to second and third place finishers. In the 1-mile run, the top three male and female finishers will receive medals. Participants will receive T-shirts subject to availability.
To register, forms are available at Lakeville Elementary or at Kinetics in Millersburg, or by emailing Stryker at email@example.com.
Filled out registration forms may be dropped off at the school or on race day.
The deadline to register is a half-hour before race time. Day of registration is $30 for the 5K, $25 for the one mile run and $10 for the kid's run.
Reporter Kelley Mohr can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.