Sasaki and Thornberry capture Turkeys in race

In the annual Turkey Trot, runners aim to predict their time, not to finish fast

Brad Morgan

Instead of running for time, Oberlin College students and faculty ran for turkeys Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the annual Turkey Trot race.

The Turkey Trot is a two-mile race in which both the male and female winner get a 12-pound turkey. People with turkeys!

Unlike traditional races in which the best time wins, the Turkey Trot measures the accuracy of each runner's predicted times in comparison to his or her actual time.

In other words, the goal is not to be the fastest, but rather to maintain a steady pace.

The winners of this year's Turkey Trot were senior Trista Thornberry and sophomore Mark Sasaki.

Sasaki confesses he won the race due to a desire to be the fastest, not a drive to keep up a steady pace. "I put down a comfortable pace. I first started jogging and then realized the lead pack was pulling ahead so I decided to catch up."

It was by speeding up and going against his original plan that Sasaki won the race.

After winning the race, and receiving his turkey, Sasaki was confused about what to do with it. "What was I going to do with a whole turkey? I ended up eating it and since I stayed at Oberlin for Thanksgiving it was a nice thing to have."

Although Sasaki may be a master runner, he is certainly not a master chef. "Cooking it was an experience in itself. I forgot to take out the neck. The inside was undercooked but the outside was really good."

According to Sasaki, most of the participants of the Turkey Trot were cross-country runners.

However, Sasaki noticed that his Ping-Pong rival, and Shansi Teaching Assistant, Chao Li, was also running in the Turkey Trot. "Professor Li beat me in Ping-Pong so I was determined to beat him in running. Professor Li was ahead of me until the very end when I passed him," he said.

Sasaki's cross-country teammate senior Noah Kraut, the first person to actually cross the finish line, asked Sasaki to run in the race this year.

Sasaki did not run for the turkey, but rather for the exercise.

Co-winner Thornberry is highly regarded by her cross-country teammate.

Sasaki hails her as "the best runner on the cross-country team. She holds a lot of records and is one of the fastest runners Oberlin has ever had."

Amongst Thornberry's accomplishments are record holding times for the 1,800 meter race and the 4x400 relay race.

According to Sasaki, "Everybody loves her. She is great!"

Both winners should not only be pound of their accomplishments, but also happy they are not vegetarians.

Holding their trophy: Sophomore Mark Sasaki and senior Trista Thornberry proudly display their turkeys given to the runner who most accurately guessed his or her time. (photo courtesy of recreation office)


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Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 11, December 5, 1997

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