Despite unseasonably cold temperatures and brisk winds, hundreds of runners converged on South Post to compete in the installation’s 11th annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K race, Saturday, near Pullen Field.

Participants competed for holiday prizes, including grand-prize Thanksgiving turkeys awarded to the top finishers in each male and female overall division.

Col. Michael Greenberg, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander, opened the competition with a brief welcome and thanked the participants, MWR and DES staffs and event volunteers.

“This event is not just about competition, it’s really about bringing the community together—the families and friends—and just having a fun day,” he said.

In the 5K, Mercer Alden took top honors in the male division, turning in a time of 18:31.7, and Natalie McCormick claimed first prize in the female division, with a time of 23:55.5.

In the 10K, Paul Petrie won first place in the male division, crossing the finish line with a time of 36:48.1, and veteran Belvoir runner, Claudia McNally, won first place in the female division, with a time of 42:10.

Challenged by the frigid, blustery conditions, runners stayed focused on the finish line, welcoming any advantage they could get. For Emi Izawa, it came down to the drive and determination of her four-legged running partner, Bella.

“This is her second time running this,” Izawa said, “and she kept me motivated all the way through.”

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10K Winners


1st Place Paul Petrie 36:48.1

2nd Norman Mininger 36:59.0


1st Place Claudia McNally 42:10.5

2nd Julia Tobias 44:18.3

5K Winners


1st Place Mercer Alden 18:31.7

2nd Christopher Lucas 18:37.1


1st Place Natalie McCormick 23:55.5

2nd Annie McCormick 23:58.9