Conditions couldn't have been much more perfect for the 117th annual running of the YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot on Thursday morning. The relatively balmy weather by November standards was certainly to the liking of Jed Christiansen and Jackie Rzepecki.
Those two runners were the winners of the event, an 8-kilometer run (4.97 miles) that goes from North Buffalo to downtown. The names of the victors were very familiar ones.
Christiansen is part of an almost legendary running family. The father, Dr. Joshua Christiansen, used to bring his family up from Pennsylvania for the Turkey Trot each year, and the entire group usually did well. They moved to New Hampshire a few years ago, but Jed has returned to Greenville, Pa. Jed's time on Thursday was 24 minutes, 1 second.
By the way, his sister Jacy, who won the race as an 11-year-old in 2004, finished fifth in the women's race this year.
Jacy trailed Rzepecki, one of the top runners in Turkey Trot history. Rzepecki won for the fifth time (2001, 2005, 2006 and 2010), finishing in 28:17. Rzepecki went to Frontier High School but now lives in Rochester, Mich.
In the men's race, Scott Anderson of West Falls finished second in 24:46, while Chris Walters of Buffalo was third in 24:56.
On the women's side, Elizabeth Paddock of Madison, Wis., was second in 29:03 - 46 seconds behind Rzepecki. Sarah Krolick of Arcade was third in 29:29.
The race was the last in the News' Runner of the Year series. Walters captured the men's division, while Jennifer Koeppel-Acker took first place in the women's competition.