And at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 the gun will sound for more than 100 runners in this year’s version of Payson’s annual 5K (3.1 miles) Turkey Trot. Serious runners and weekend joggers, zealous youngsters and slow-but-steady octogenarians will race from Green Valley Park, west on Main Street to the course’s turnaround point at the sanitary plant, then huff and puff their way back to the finish line at the park.
“As in all past Turkey Trot races, this year’s overall first-place male and female runners will be awarded a turkey, with medals being presented to the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each age division. Fred the DJ will again provide race entertainment and healthy treats, hot chocolate and coffee will be available,” said Parks and Rec event coordinator, David Roehrig.
Same-day registration will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. before the start of the run. The race fee is $40 and will include a long-sleeve sweatshirt, if quantities permit.
Each year, I enjoy watching the Turkey Trot runners pass by our house. Less than a half mile into the run, the more serious runners, decked out in their fancy Adidas and Nike running attire, are already long strides ahead of the rest of the pack.
In the recreational-running majority that is following behind, joggers are chatting and laughing with their friends, some are pushing baby strollers, while others trot by with their dogs in tow — none taking the winning thing too seriously.
And over the year, I’ve seen all kinds of crazy, unique and some very unusual running outfits donned by the joggers.
But fortunately, unlike the 1959 Johnny Preston song, I’ve never seen anyone “Running Bear” (or is that Bare).
This week’s question
In Johnny Preston’s 1959 No. 1 hit, “Running Bear,” he tells the story of a young Indian brave, Running Bear, and his pretty maiden, separated by opposing Indian tribes and a swirling river.
Not being able to stand separateness another moment and in their desperation to be together, the brave and his maiden love dive into the churning river, then paddle frantically to meet.
Unfortunately, as “their hands touch and their lips meet, the raging river pulls them down, where they’ll always be together in that happy hunting ground.”
This week’s music trivia question is: What was the name of Running Bear’s pretty maiden love? Was it A) Eternal Water; B) Yellow Flower; C) Little White Dove; or D) Morning Sun?
If you are caller number five and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of this artist’s greatest hit. Good luck!
Last week’s question
Last week’s question asked if you could name the Canadian-born artist whose debut song “Snowbird” became an instant hit on both the pop and country charts.
Over the course of the her lengthy recording career, this former gym teacher would chart 32 songs on Billboard’s pop chart and 54 on its country chart, with 10 songs reaching No. 1, including “You Needed Me,” which peaked at the top spot on both charts.
Some of this artist’s most popular songs were “Danny’s Song,” “I Just Fall in Love Again” and “Could I Have This Dance.”
The choices were artist A) Olivia Newton-John; B) Anne Murray; C) Shania Twain; and D) Dolly Parton.
The correct answer was Anne Murray. Each of the other three choices was also a highly successful crossover female artist.
Congratulations to last week’s first-time winner, Duane Reitsma of Deer Creek, who won a CD of Anne Murray’s greatest hits.
Duane was born in Chicago, moved with his family for a brief time to Palos Heights, Ill., then to the small farming community of Almond, Wis. Following a stint in the Navy in his early 20s, he moved to Phoenix, where he soon began a 30-year career with the Farmers Insurance Company.
Duane and his wife of 54 years, Ruth, moved from the Valley to Deer Creek, 11 years ago, “to get out of the rat race,” he said. “Now I mostly enjoy camping and fishing. Lake Roosevelt is close and good for crappie fishing and I also like to fish for trout in the lakes on top of the Mogollon Rim.”
Duane says his favorite genre of music is classic country western and he puts Jim Reeves, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams, Sr. at the top of his favorite artists list.
A final note
Parks & Rec is looking for more entries for this year’s Electric Light Parade, which will step off at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 from Green Valley Park and make its way to the Sawmill Theatres complex. The deadline to register is Dec. 2 and the fee is only $25 for floats, $15 for motorized vehicles and $10 for walking entries. Stop in at the Parks and Rec office for an entry form.
This year’s theme is A Charlie Brown Christmas, and will feature the Rim Country Walking Pine Trees, Payson’s award-winning entry in this past year’s Fiesta Bowl Parade, which will collect items for the food bank along the route. Also, following the parade, children and those young-at-heart can have their pictures taken with Santa Claus at Macky’s Grill.
Have a great Rim Country week!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com