Campus Turkey Trot 5K, one-mile fun run will benefit cystic fibrosis charity

With distances that cater to the tastes of running enthusiasts, joggers and casual walkers, Penn State New Kensington's 34th annual Turkey Trot is set for 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, starting in front of the campus' Athletics Center.

A pre-Thanksgiving fixture at the campus since 1980, the race has grown into a 5K, one of the classic distances of running events. Open to the public, the 3.1–mile course meanders through the campus and Upper Burrell Township. There also is a one-mile family fun run/walk that starts at 10:15 a.m.

"I think it is important to continue a tradition for students and their families and friends," said Pepsi Umberger, race coordinator and instructor in kinesiology at the campus. "Our goal is to sponsor a fun, family-friendly race to promote health and wellness in the community."

The 5K course begins at the Athletics Center, crosses the upper parking lot and heads down Myers Drive to the turnaround point. Participants backtrack to the finish line at the Athletics Center.

The entry fee is $15 for college and high school students with ID; $20 for campus faculty and staff; and $25 for local residents. A special family fee of $25 allows four family members to participate in the distances of their choosing. Frozen turkeys will be awarded to the winners of each of the four age categories: 18-24; 25-32; 33-44; 45 and older. All registrants receive a Turkey Trot T-shirt and a goodies bag.

Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, leads to life-threatening lung infections, obstructs the pancreas, and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

"It is a great time of year to reach out and get people involved in a great cause," Umberger said. "The race provides fun for the campus and community while benefiting people who are impacted by cystic fibrosis."

For more information, call or email Umberger at 724-334-6747 or

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Last Updated October 23, 2013