Both Ian Huang and Maggie Yount finished the 2018 calendar year undefeated in local running races after they both crossed the finish line in first place in their respective gender categories on Thursday morning’s Durango Turkey Trot, which was completed on the campus of Fort Lewis College.
Huang, 39, won the overall men’s title in the 5-mile race with a time of 27:17.94 and defeated Whitner Chase, who came in second (27:26.80) and Howard Grotts, who took third (27:44.14). Huang won the third local race of the season after he also won both long-distance events, the Thirsty 13 and Steamworks Half Marathon, earlier this year.
“I thought it was a great race to end the year on,” Huang said. “It was really fun and was my second time doing it. It felt better than last year, too, because I made a wrong turn, and this year, I got it together. I thought Howard (Grotts) would win and he and Chase were great competitors out there, but I just stuck with my pace.”
“My wife and I just had a baby three weeks ago,” Huang said. “So I wasn’t really training for this and didn’t really set an expectation for my time. It was sort of a stress-releasing run today.”
Marcus Flint of Durango High School took fourth overall (28:21.10) just days after he raced in the Nike Cross-Country Southwest Regional Championships and won the 13-17 age group. Kiara Hamlin, also of DHS, won the same age group on the girl’s side with a time of 36:29.98.
In the Turkey Trot, Yount, 34, had another strong race and won the race with a time of 29:31.00.
“Undefeated in 2018 and it feels really nice,” Yount said. “Today was just a fun run for me. Now that Thanksgiving is here and the race is over, I plan on getting fat until January and can enjoy the holidays. I’m literally done for the rest of the year and will get back at it in January when I’ll be training for a spring marathon.”
Imogen Ainsworth was the second-fastest finisher on the female side (30:29.13) and took 13th overall, while Hannah Peterson was third (34:08.25) and 27th overall.
Race director Matthew Krichman said it was the largest number of registered runners, with 514 finishers in the 5-mile race, and had more than 200 kids compete in the 1-mile race.
“It was amazing to see the community come out once again in such strong numbers,” Krichman said. “I always have loved the Turkey Trot and think it’s the best day of the year, partly because of the holiday but also because of how excited everyone gets to run this race. I think it says a lot about our running community here.”
Krichman, who ran the race in a turkey costume and finished the 5-mile race in 85th (39:19.37), said the event raised more than $7,000 through the pre-race registration fees for various local charity organizations.
“We’ve been doing this race for close to 30 years now, and we’ve never not raised more for charity than the previous year, which is absolutely amazing when you think about it,” Krichman said. “No matter the weather, it’s been amazing to see how this race continues to grow and continues to find great causes to donate to. I’m already looking forward to next year.
“It was everything the community hoped for,” Krichman said. “It’s a great opportunity to celebrate running, friendship and fitness and do something really great to give back to the community.”