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updated: 11/25/2011 3:06 AM

Big turnout, familiar winner in Naperville Turkey Trot

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  • Kyle Brady was the overall winner at the Naperville Noon Lions Club's 14th annual Turkey Trot at Naperville Central High School. He finished the 5K in 14:52.

       Kyle Brady was the overall winner at the Naperville Noon Lions Club's 14th annual Turkey Trot at Naperville Central High School. He finished the 5K in 14:52.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Hundreds line the course Thursday morning to cheer participants in the Naperville Turkey Trot.

       Hundreds line the course Thursday morning to cheer participants in the Naperville Turkey Trot.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Ryan Higgins of Plainfield keeps warm before the Naperville Turkey Trot Thursday morning.

       Ryan Higgins of Plainfield keeps warm before the Naperville Turkey Trot Thursday morning.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Runners funnel through the starting gate Thursday at the Naperville Turkey Trot.

       Runners funnel through the starting gate Thursday at the Naperville Turkey Trot.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 

More than 500 new runners were added to the Naperville Turkey Trot mix Thursday, but none could keep the perennial leaders from the winner's circle.

Former North Central College distance runner Kyle Brady, 23, led all men again, finishing the 5K race in 14:52. Exactly three minutes later, triathlete Jocelyn Petrella edged Amber Druien, another former North Central College standout.

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Brady, who has won three of his six Turkey Trots, said it's just a guilt-free way to start the holiday.

"I'm going to run anyway so I may as well get up a little earlier and try to win the Turkey Trot again," he said after crossing the finish line. "Now I'm going to stuff my face and not feel bad about having that second piece of pie."

For Petrella and Druien, the run was the continuation of a long-standing friendly rivalry.

"We've run it every year except last year," said Petrella, who returned to her native Naperville from Denver. "But we're back this year. Every year we run one of us finishes first and the other second."

"That's the goal, anyway," said Druien, who was pushed by Naperville Central senior Amanda Fox, who recently captured the state cross country title. "That girl's fast."

A total of 7,500 people crossed the starting line at 8 a.m. Thursday at Naperville Central High School for the 14th annual event.

The popular 5K attracts entire families and serious runners alike with its charitable spirit and its "run now, eat guilt-free later" atmosphere.

Sponsored by the Naperville Noon Lions, all proceeds benefit those in need locally. Turkey Trot Director Bill McManus, board member and past president of the Lions, says he sees the race as people helping people.

"I think it's driven by the community spirit and knowing that 100 percent of funds raised go back to the community," McManus said.

The Lions support initiatives to improve sight, hearing and diabetes diagnoses and treatment, including major contributions to Easter Seals. In addition, through a partnership with local schools, the Lions help provide hearing screenings, eyeglasses and hearing aids to students in need.

For details and full results, visit napervilleturkeytrot.com.

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