Alex Weber, 17, of Durham, wins the 2022 Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. Photo: C. Leinbach

By Connie Leinbach

Angie Todd was amazed that the 5K Turkey Trot crowd on Thanksgiving morning exceeded her expectations.

“When we started this eight years ago, it began as a whim and we had about 30 people,” she told the crowd of 143 runners and walkers at the starting point at 1718 Brewing Ocracoke. “This year, our eighth year, we sold out.”

That was 175 who registered, she said, the most ever, but 10 didn’t show up and 23 did the race virtually, leaving 143 who crossed the finish line, according to the website of Run The East, a firm that conducts the race.

Todd, who is a world-class marathon runner and race director for the Scallywag 5K/10K/half-marathon (scheduled for April 29 & 30), said she hopes to boost the total who can register next year.

Alex Weber, 17, of Durham, bested the pack with a time of 18:42.

A member of his high school’s cross country team, he noted that he came in second overall last year.

First-timer to Ocracoke Kris Fox, 44, of Cincinnati, Ohio, wasn’t far behind and came in second at 18:47, and Ocracoke Islander Gerardo Dominguez, 32, came in third at 19:12.

Dominguez was happy with his time since he beat his time last year of 19:30, and he noted a number of young people giving him competition. Such as, Carter O’Neal, 15, of Ocracoke, whose time was 21:51.

Rachel Nerenbaum, 28, no city listed, was the top female overall with a time of 22:43.

As the Catto family cooled down from their run, one member, Olya, noted that family gathers on the island from Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. This was the fourth time the group ran together in this race before the holiday meal at the home of Joellen Catto on Trent Road.

“It’s now part of our family tradition,” noted James Catto.

All participants received a medal and overall and in age categories winners received homemade pies.

Proceeds of the race will go to a fund to replace the floor in the Ocracoke School gym.

From massive flooding from Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, the school was destroyed and is in the process of being rebuilt.

While there’s an acceptable floor in place in the school gym, it is far from perfect, and the school wants to replace it, said Todd, who also is Hyde County Board of Education chair.

Angie Todd, in turkey hat, welcomes runners in the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Photo: C. Leinbach
Gerardo Dominguez of Ocracoke comes in third in the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Photo: C. Leinbach
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