Trail run wraps up Fitness Challenge

by Laurel Myers | October 10, 2014


The Turkey Gobbler Trail Run is the final event in the year-long Sudbury Fitness Challenge. PHOTO SUPPLIED

The 2014 edition of the Sudbury Fitness Challenge is on the brink of its grand finale.

On Oct. 13, the Turkey Gobbler Trail Run — the sixth and final event in the year-long challenge — will be held on the Naughton Ski Trails at the Walden Cross-Country Fitness Club.

“It’s a holiday weekend and everybody knows they’re going to be overindulging,” said Neil Phipps, race co-director with Rob Marcolini. “It’s good to get out and stretch your legs and burn a few calories.”

Now in its 13th year, the Turkey Gobbler is the most recent of additions to the Fitness Challenge lineup, which includes the Sofie Manarin Nickel Loppet, Sudbury Rocks Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes, Canoe Marathon, Ian McCloy Island Swim and the Beaton Classic and Youth Triathlon.

The event includes distances of three and eight kilometres, as well as a kids’ one-km race.

“The three-km race is pretty manageable,” Phipps said. “We’re trying to make the eight-km a little more challenging so we’ve started running it up into the hills. It’s a pretty hilly, challenging loop this year.”

However, the Turkey Gobbler still holds true to the general objective of the Sudbury Fitness Challenge — to be accessible to all levels of participants.

“We’re trying to make it an event where strong athletes can really challenge themselves but there are events so that anybody can get involved and hopefully start building toward bigger things,” Phipps said.

“Like all the Sudbury Fitness Challenge events, it’s pretty welcoming and open to all.”

The race is set to being at 10 a.m. Registration is $10 for the kids’ one-km, $20 for the three-km and $25 for the eight-km, and can be completed at the Running Room, either in person or online. A portion of funds collected will be donated to the Walden Cross-Country Fitness Club.

At the conclusion of the trail run, medals will be presented to the top finishers; as well, the overall winners of the entire Sudbury Fitness Challenge will be crowned.

Participants are allotted points for each event in which they compete in the Fitness Challenge. According to Phipps, the Turkey Gobbler could determine the winners in a number of groupings.

“There are some very close battles shaping up in a bunch of age groups, but also for the overall title, so this race is going to decide the winners more than any past year,” he said.

And that’s good news for the year-long series of events.

“We’re starting to see a growing number of people who are starting to view the Fitness Challenge as a single entity,” Phipps said. “More people are targeting more events, so there are much closer races (for points). That’s exciting to see growth from there. When people start looking at their points overall, the smaller events benefit greatly.”

For more information on the Sudbury Fitness Challenge, visit


Following the Turkey Gobbler Trail Run, Sudbury Sports Magazine managing editor Laurel Myers will have participated in each of the six events in the Sudbury Fitness Challange this year for her first time. Be sure to pick up the November/December issue of the magazine for a recap of the Challenge and to find out how Myers fared overall.

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