Headline: Trot off the Turkey Tummy | VailDaily.com

Headline: Trot off the Turkey Tummy

First Turkey Trot

Symptoms of FAT, include fatigue, intense feelings of guilt and the urge to wear loose clothing. The condition, especially in combination with left-over turkey sandwiches, can persist for several days.

Luckily for all victims of FAT, relief is available Sunday without prescription at the Vail Athletic Club.

FAT sufferers will meet between 8 and 10 a.m. in front of the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa on East Meadow Drive for mutual support and a sure cure for turkey tummy.

For a registration fee of $25, FAT sufferers can sign up for the first Turkey Trot, sponsored by the Vail Athletic Club. The 10K run and 5K walk/run benefits the Roger Pepper Adventure Camps, a local charity helping young burn survivors.

“We’ve been saying that you can help raise money for a good cause and walk or run off that turkey and pumpkin pie,” says Shannon Galpin, pilates instructor at the athletic club in the Vail Mountain Lodge.

The Turkey Trot is a first for Vail and a first for Galpin, who moved to Vail this summer.

“It’s a little bit more time-consuming than I had planned,” says Galpin, who organized the event on behalf of her employer. “We were looking for a way to show that we are part of this community and want to give back to it.”

Galpin says support for the race has been impressive.

“Businesses and individuals have been so generous,” she says. “Everyone went above and beyond what I could have asked for.”

More than 20 local businesses have contributed, making the Turkey Trot an equal opportunity race for anyone young and old, fast or slow.

Instead of awards to the fastest three runners in each category, the Turkey Trot will conclude with a runners raffle at noon. The raffle gives each participant a chance to win one of more than 25 prizes, ranging from a season ski pass to dinner and store certificates to fleece jackets and jewellery. In all, prizes worth more than $10,000 will be given away.

“I think it’s awesome that in a place like Vail, where almost everyone is a super athlete, there is an event, where anyone – no matter how slow – can win a prize,” says Chadd Ziegler, the Vail Mountain Lodge’s general manager. “You can walk with your dog and win something,” he adds.

The race course looping out to the Vail Public Golf Course and back to Vail Village is flat and suitable for anyone in good health.

“Anybody can do this,” says Galpin. “You can help by walking the 5K with your dog, your kids, with your coffee mug.”

So far, Galpin says, about 50 participants have registered. Her goal is 200 for the first year.

Participants will get a goodie-bag and a T-shirt. Coffee, muffins and minute massages will be offered in the lodge’s lobby before the race and participants can use the club’s showers, steam room and sauna afterward.

In addition to same-day registration Sunday, runners and walkers also can sign up today and Saturday at the Vail Holiday Market between Crossroads and the Austria Haus on East Meadow Drive. Registration forms are available at the Vail Athletic Club booth.

Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at ghaldner@vaildaily.com

Info box:

Taking on the Turkey Trot

What: 5K run/walk and 10K charity run/walk

When: Registration today and Saturday at the Vail Holiday Market or Sunday from 8 a.m. until race starts at 10 a.m.

Where: Race starts in front of the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa on East Meadow Drive. Course goes to the Vail Public Golf Course and through Vail Village.

How: Registration fee $25, includes T-Shirt and goodie bag, as well as a chance to win $10,000 worth of prizes in the runner’s raffle at noon.

Why: Proceeds benefit the Roger Pepper Camps Charity, a local organization helping young burn survivors.

For more information, call 476-7960.

(short side)

Allison Massari, an Edwards resident, knows what it is like to be burned.

Not by mean-spirited friends or back-stabbing colleagues, but by real fire. Flames engulfed her four years ago. Her car exploded into “a fireball” after a drunk driver hit her.

“A man saved my life, he pulled me out of my car. If it wasn’t for this man I would be dead,” Massari says.

The 37-year-old suffered second-degree burns over 30 percent of her body – her back, her right arm and leg. It took more than three years to fully recuperate. “There are many layers of healing going on,” she says.

Maybe it’s the rose-tinted glasses she wears – to correct her vision after another car accident left her with a brain injury – but Massari is determined to focus on the bright side of life.

“I don’t want to be portrayed as a victim,” she says. “I’ve had these two big accidents but they have really been a blessing. I’ve learned to rely more on other people, which has deepened relationships. I no longer get frustrated with myself. I just try my best.”

Four years ago, Massari founded the Roger Pepper Adventure Camps charity to help young burn survivors. Roger Pepper was the man that pulled her out of her burning car.

“He is a hero,” she says simply.

Focusing her children with burn injuries was a natural aim for her, Massari says.

“When children are burned, they are healing as they are growing,” she says. “These kids go through 60 surgeries easily. They lose their childhood in the process. “

The Roger Pepper Adventure Camps, which is the benefactor of Sunday’s Turkey Trot charity race, invites 15 burn victims each summer and winter to gain confidence from activities like rock-climbing, rafting or skiing.

“The idea behind this is to really embrace these kids and show them that they are cared for and that they really matter and that they have a life ahead of them that will be really meaningful,” Massari says.

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