Races raise money for mission, scholarships

Runners and walkers raced at two Thanksgiving Day events in Elkhart and Nappanee.

Posted on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 28, 2013 at 5:37 p.m.

ELKHART — Before devouring plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, walkers and runners worked up an appetite at two annual Thanksgiving Day races.

Elkhart's Turkey Stampede and Nappanee's I'm Thankful Four charity races have become holiday traditions, raising money for Faith Mission in Elkhart and scholarships for high school students in Nappanee.

The 10th I'm Thankful Four race raised around $11,000 for the Kelsey Mikel Memorial Foundation, which gives scholarships to students at NorthWood High School in Nappanee. The race set a record with 950 participants, including more than 40 people at a satellite race in Golden, Colo., started by former NorthWood cross country and track runner Aaron Hoover.

“Over the past nine years, we have raised over $52,000,” said Mark Mikel, who started the race with his family in memory of his daughter who died in a car accident in 2004.

The Turkey Stampede found a new home this year at North Side Gym in Elkhart. The race had previously been hosted just three miles away at McNaughton Park, but organizer Paula Turk said the event outgrew the space.

“We really lucked out with the North Side Gym,” said Turk, adding that the venue had a warm waiting area for runners, restrooms and lots of parking. “It was built for a big crowd.”

As of Thursday afternoon, Nov. 28, Turk did not have final tallies on how much was raised for Faith Mission's programs, but she estimated that more than 2,500 people had participated in the race, which featured a 1.3-mile walk, a 5K run and a 10K run.

Video below taken by Marshall King:

I'm Thankful Four Results/ Turkeys to beat:


Rick Stucky


Amanda Bechtel


Trevor Hershberger

Turkey Stampede Results:

Top 3 Males in 5K

Andy Williams, 15:46

Austin Ganger, 16:00

Joel Hartman, 16:04

Top 3 Females in 5K

Alicia Jackowiak, 17:38

Olivia Cook, 20:40

Sarah Hamilton, 21:24

Top 3 Males in 10K

Lindford Martin, 34:15

Dave Bussard, 35:33

Kurt Etherington, 35:42

Top 2 Females in 10K

Bekah Shenk, 40:46

Sara Randolph, 41:30


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