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Mitchell Baseball Turkey Trot fundraiser draws more than 150 racers

Runners take off at the start of the Mitchell Baseball Turkey Trot Thursday in Mitchell. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)1 / 2
Josh Lessman walks alongside 5-year-olds Charley, center, and Graham, right, as the ride scooters during the Mitchell Baseball Turkey Trot. The Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, family participated in the event that kicked off at John Paul II Elementary School. (Evan Hendershot / Republic)2 / 2

Scores of people spent Thanksgiving morning in Mitchell to raise money in support of America's pastime.

Some donning jogging gear and others decked out in festive attire, people raced and walked the streets as part of a fundraiser for the Mitchell Baseball Association Thursday.

According to Mitchell Baseball Turkey Trot event organizer Lisa Larson, more than 150 pre-registered for the race that generally raises around $5,000 for the organization. Others registered for the fun run Thursday, and around 200 racers took off from John Paul II Elementary on an unseasonably warm fall day.

Before the race began, Larson spoke about what separates the Turkey Trot from a typical race in Mitchell.

"It is a fun run," Larson said with emphasis on the word "fun." "We enjoy the camaraderie and we try to encourage people to dress up and run in their costume."

And after some stretching by the participants in the elementary school's gymnasium and a speech from Larson — which teased the door prizes available after the race — the racers went outside to embark on the 5K before getting onto the rest of their Thanksgiving festivities.

"It's all about having fun," Larson said. "And then we promote the fact that you get to run and then eat as much as you want."

The winner of the race was Alex Muntefering, a former track star for Parkston High School who finished with a time of 16:45.1. Second place went to Matt Bennett, of Mitchell, and finishing third was Chloe Muntefering, of San Marcos, Texas.

A handful of runners finished around the 24-minute mark, including 16th place finisher and Mitchell City Council President Steve Rice, who narrowly bested city of Mitchell Recreation Supervisor Kevin DeVries.