Evan Ellison (front) led the way during a previous Turkey Trot race as Ryan Lewis followed closely behind. Ellison has won his age group at three Turkey Trot events, bringing home the turkey for his family’s Thanksgiving meal. [Photo courtesy of Patrick Trim]

Evan Ellison is hoping to win another turkey for his family, as he’s done on several occasions as a participant in Moab’s annual Turkey Trot 5K race. The 15-year-old has won his age group on three occasions, bringing home the turkey for his family’s Thanksgiving meal.

The Grand County Running Club, which Ellison belongs to, typically sends several teams each year to take part in the Turkey Trot. Last year, Ellison also placed second overall in the event.

His stepfather Dan Stenta and his border collie-Australian shepherd mix Percy have won the canine duo category the last two years. In that race, it’s the dog who gets the prize – a large bone.

“The course is fun because it goes along Mill Creek,” said Stenta, who’s run the race eight times. “It’s small, mostly local, with a small-race flavor.”

The Turkey Trot is a 5-kilometer race that begins and ends at the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center, on Park Avenue at Swanny City Park. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9:15 a.m.

“It’s very low-key; some people power walk the whole thing,” Stenta said. “The city (recreation) department does a great job with this event.”

Children younger than 8 can participate at 9 a.m. in the Kids Fun Run – a lap around Swanny City Park, for a chance to win a bag of small prize items. Siblings and/or parents are allowed to run with the young children, Moab City Sports and Recreation Director Patrick Trim said.

And, for the babies, there’s a stroller category.

It’s all for a good cause: Registration proceeds go to city youth sports programs, such as pool activities, soccer, basketball, baseball, football and volleyball. There’s also a toddler gym program that started in November, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Center Street Gym. It’s free, and children and their adults can drop in any time.

Participants are also asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Grand County Food Bank – especially important this time of year when employment in Moab is much less than in the summertime.

The food bank welcomes anything related to the traditional Thanksgiving meal, GCFB coordinator Terri Getz said. That would include Stovetop stuffing, crackers, cranberry sauce and canned soups – especially those with pull tabs because many homeless clients don’t have can openers, Getz said.

The food bank offers an approximate one-week supply of food monthly to residents who qualify based on income. If you miss the Turkey Trot, you can drop off food donations at the food bank, 56 N. 200 East, Moab, during business hours, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The need “goes way up,” in the wintertime, said food bank warehouse manager Steve Getz. Clients run the gamut from lone senior citizens to families with many children, he said.

Run or walk the Turkey Trot on Nov. 18 – all for a good cause

What: Turkey Trot

When: Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9:15 a.m.; Kids Fun Run starts at 9 a.m.

Where: Moab Recreation and Aquatics Center, 374 N. Park Ave.

Cost: Kids Fun Run $3; 5k Run $12, or $17 day of registration; T-shirts for $10

Information: Pre-register at www.moabrecreation.org, or at the recreation office at the Center Street Gym, or call 435-259-2255