"This event is really kept alive because it is a family tradition," Sparks Parks and Rec. Supervisor Tanja Ramociotti said Thursday. "This is really something for everyone in the family and you almost always see people out here in groups or with their families. Plus, they can eat more after that."
Whether they were running the extensive 10K run or dialing back to the two-mile run or walk, participants in the Scheels Turkey Trot came out excited and smiling Thursday morning. Ramociotti said participation numbers remained steady from years past with a little more than 2,300 people signing up for the event, which forwards the funds to non-profit organization Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the youth scholarship fund from from the City of Sparks.
In 2012, Ramociotti said the event brought in about $10,000 and more than $5,000 of it went to Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. She added that it was a team effort on the city's part as about 30 people help organize and contain the event, including Sparks Police Department and various volunteers.
"This is just a great event," she said. "The kids can come and get pictures with the turkey (mascot) and everyone just has a fun time out here. The elements don't seem to bother them."
Karen Romine-Stocking, of Reno, brought several members of her family out to the event including some visiting from San Diego. She said the two-mile run was the perfect way to start the day and she added that the elements were the least of their worries.
"It is good preparation for that big meal we are having later," Romine-Stocking joked. "We are outdoorsy people and we really enjoy being outside so this was perfect for us. We are going to do a hike right after this as well."
Romine-Stocking and her family were running their first Turkey Trot and said that the tradition will likely continue in future Thanksgivings.
"It seems like the tradition of Thanksgiving has been centered around eating, and giving thanks, of course," she said. "But I think that having a little exercise component in there is really good."
Monica Marks made her way to Scheels from Fernley for the Turkey Trot after hearing from a few friends that the 10K run was enjoyable. It was her first time running in the event, but as an avid marathon runner, she said the challenge would not outweigh the fun.
"I came with a group of five friends, and I think that is normal because they give you a lot of room to run on this route," Marks said. "Everyone seems to travel in groups so it should be a real fun experience."
As Marks saw more and more families show up she said the Turkey Trot, in her opinion, has lasted due to tremendous community support.
"I think this event is great and it is great for community building," Marks said. "Everyone can come have fun with their family and friends and it lets everyone come together for the holiday, even if it is just for a short time."