Mile runners takeoff from the starting line during the ninth annual Turkey Trot on Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Mile runners takeoff from the starting line during the ninth annual Turkey Trot on Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

And they’re off: Turkey Trot draws hundreds

Fun in the briefly shining sun.

Juneau residents — and their visitors — had their choices to make on Thanksgiving. Dark meat or light meat? Stuffing or mashed potatoes? One mile or a 5K?

Josh, Bridger and Carolyn Smith pose for a photo taken by Misty Dohrn during the ninth annual Turkey Trot held Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Josh, Bridger and Carolyn Smith pose for a photo taken by Misty Dohrn during the ninth annual Turkey Trot held Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

An unexpectedly sunny ninth annual Turkey Trot saw hundreds partake in some Thanksgiving Day cardio. Tyra MacKinnon, race organizer, said about 200 people preregistered for the event held annually along the Airport Dike Trail and with favorable weather conditions, she expected about that many people to opt for same-day registration.

“I think it’s going to be equal or a little bigger,” MacKinnon said when asked how that level of participation compares to a typical year.

Turkey Trot participants wave at an Alaska Airlines plane landing at Juneau International Airport on Thanksgiving Day. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Turkey Trot participants wave at an Alaska Airlines plane landing at Juneau International Airport on Thanksgiving Day. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Participants were able to choose between a 1-mile walk that began at 9:30 a.m., and a 5K that started a half-hour later. However, plenty of youths chose to run the mile and more than a few folks walked a mile starting at the late 5K time. Proceeds from this year’s event benefited the Glacier Swim Club and Thunder Mountain High School cross-country team.

Participants included a blend of first-timers, like 9-year-old Patrick Sperry, and those with several Turkey Trots under their belts, like Wren Dihle, 7; and Roan Dihle, 5; and Ero Dihle, 3; who navigated the course alongside Patrick.

Ero Dihle, 3; Wren Dihle, 7; Roan Dihle, 5; and Patrick Sperry, 9; smile for a photo ahead of the Turkey Trot’s 1-mile course. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Ero Dihle, 3; Wren Dihle, 7; Roan Dihle, 5; and Patrick Sperry, 9; smile for a photo ahead of the Turkey Trot’s 1-mile course. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“I just think it’s a really fun thing to do on the holiday,” said adult Meghan Dihle. “It gets the wiggles out.”

Runners wore a variety of festive ensembles for the event, including inflatable turkey costumes and quirky handmade attire.

Finn Bogert, 6, and Sigrid Bogert, 9, each donned handmade turkey T-shirts decorated with classic hand turkeys topped off with a smattering of craft feathers.

Meanwhile, Jace Kihlmire wore more elaborate cardboard and construction paper headgear depicting a turkey in a pilgrim’s hat.

Jace Kihlmire wore some of the most elaborate headgear of any runner during the ninth annual Turkey Trot on Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Jace Kihlmire wore some of the most elaborate headgear of any runner during the ninth annual Turkey Trot on Thursday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Despite the silly atmosphere, some runners showed some serious skill.

Porter Goudie, 12, finished the 1-mile course the fastest coming in just a bit ahead of the 8-minute mark, and Finn Morley finished the 5K in 16 minutes and 42 seconds.

Finn Morley, a JDHS alum, was the first 5K runner to cross the Turkey Trot’s finish line. When asked, Morley, who finished with a time of 16 minutes and 42 seconds, said his favorite Thanksgiving side is cranberry sauce. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Finn Morley, a JDHS alum, was the first 5K runner to cross the Turkey Trot’s finish line. When asked, Morley, who finished with a time of 16 minutes and 42 seconds, said his favorite Thanksgiving side is cranberry sauce. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

When asked, each first-place finisher shared their favorite Thanksgiving dinner sides. Goudie said mashed potatoes are his favorite. Morley said his favorite is canned cranberry sauce.

Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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