Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 2021 – Recap

Thanksgiving morning 2021 was a welcoming site. The weather was mild and the collective enthusiasm felt at Reid Park was certainly overdue. It was a special time for folks to gather, trot, nosh and be thankful. With almost 2,300 participants signed up for the three events, it was an exciting morning!
The ladies race began at 8:00 am. Taylor McCue won in a time of 19:48 and Megan Greene took first master’s in a time of 20:56. Each won a pair of Brooks shoes from The Running Shop, a trophy and this year’s “turkey” spoon rest and spoon.

Age group winners were Matilda Knotts 10 and under, Chiara Marjaniemi 11-13, Yasmin Pooley 14-16, Anaaelle Depoint 17-19, Alexis White 20-24, Charlotte Walmsley 25-29, Claire Hans 30-34, Ashlee Michels 35-39, Cara Payne 40-44, Jeanne Krizman 45-49, Amy Baruch 50-54, Lisa Anderson 55-59, Janet Holland 60-64, Merry Dearmon 65-69, Sharon Gerl 70-74, Aurora Reyes 75-79 and Sue Smith 80 and over. The women’s top team of W.O.W. Women of Wog won with a combined time of 1:23:55 with Alexis White, Claire Hans, Cara Payne and Ashlee Michels leading the way. Second place women’s team was W.O.W. Women of Wog, Too with a time of 1:32:18 including Caitlin Vogelsberg, Paulette Yates, Aimee Kaempf, and Sandra Crusa.
The mens race began at around 8:50 am. Miles Dunbar won with a time of 16:10 and Kyle Colavito took the master’s race in a time of 18:58. Age group winners are Eli Le Peau in the 10 and under, Bobby Barlette 11-13, Max Irey 14-16, Jonah Barber 17-19, Nathan Thomas 20-24, Zachary Stewart 25-29, Aaron Barber 30-34, Jeffrey Gehring 35-39, Craig Pansing 40-44, Jon Lansa 45-49, Dave Dixon 50-54, Jimmy Riccitello 55-59, Peter Ruggles 60-64, Benito Gonzalez 65-69, Buck Lentzer 70-74, Steve Walter 75-79, and Paul Robillia in the 80 and over. The top men’s team was Salpointe XC in a speedy combined time of 1:10:28 including Nathan Thomas, Michael Urbanski, Diego Delgado and Daniel Eisele. Second men’s team was Reid Park Rangers (and Badgers) not far behind with a time of 1:13:06 including Jonah Barber, Joseph Moreno, Anthony Renguul and Bedford Taylor.
The Fun Run, as is usual, had the most registrations with 863 folks signed up. It was quite a site seeing this large group of folks taking off and the smiles were intoxicating. This is what makes Thanksgiving morning special.
New this year is the Duo Team category. The top three Duo Teams are Lucas King, Dalton Wiley and Nico Ossandon.
If you hadn’t noticed, Martin Pena, our long time co-race director, wasn’t on hand this year. He retired from City Parks and asked to retire from race directing. His leadership and assistance was greatly missed. I want to publicly thank Martin for his many years devoted to this this event. I cannot thank you enough!
Lucas Tyler deserves many props for taking over the role that Martin fulfilled. While we learned we had to bypass the water pit, the course was mostly otherwise unchanged. Lucas did a superb job with the help of Michelle Hawk and Dave Dixon.
The photo booth photos didn’t disappoint this year. It was exciting to see the smiles and antics. Oh how we missed those! Please be sure to go to to check out all of the photos!
The village that is necessary for making the TCCC happen certainly stepped up and we give many thanks to all that were involved. Our generous sponsors include The Running Shop, Brooks, Sparkletts Water, Bruegger’s Bagels, Tile Outlet, Team Hoyt Arizona, DJ Rich, and Southern Arizona Roadrunners. My staff at The Running Shop helped make this possible, and I thank Lucas, Geoff, Ava, Kevin, Brian and Laurie. A huge shout goes out to Michele Hawk for her consistent help with registration and everything else that she does and to Chip Travers for his artistic contribution. The list of volunteers is quite lengthy and I thank Michelle, Connie, Raquel, Janet, Caroline, Dave, Rebecca, Mely, David, Rachel, Alenzia, Maureen, Kristin, Laurie, Lauren, Steve, Hal, Jeri, Paulette, Suzanne, Kellen, Garrett, Mary, Jennifer, Philip, Linda, Kayla, Jenny, Robin, Audrey and Billie. Some of these folks generously volunteered for multiple shifts and there aren’t enough words for me to express my gratitude. If your name was missed, please accept my apology. Your help is greatly appreciated.
We are honored again to have Toys for Tots and Team Hoyt Arizona as our beneficiaries. Your additional donations this year were truly inspiring. You gave close to $3,000 to our beneficiaries. Together we donated $3,900 to Toys for Tots and $3,000 to Team Hoyt!
A couple of jackets and a vest are in our Lost and Found box. They can be picked up at The Running Shop as well as any award not yet claimed.
Thank you for making the 2021 Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic a success. We wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!