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The Krogh’s Turkey Trot marked its 11th anniversary in Lake Mohawk on a bright, chilly Thanksgiving morning with thousands of enthusiastic runners and spectators filling White Deer Plaza. This popular fundraiser for The Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) is known as “The Tradition Before The Tradition,” when an 8:45am start leaves plenty of time to prepare and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. In addition to the main run, a one-mile Fun Run kicked off at 8:15am. Well over 2,100 runners participated in both events.

The 5K course on East Shore Trail started and ended at White Deer Plaza in front of Krogh’s Restaurant and Brew Pub with views of Lake Mohawk along the way. Finishing in first place was Chris Dugan of Sparta with a time of 16:46, followed by Liam McHale of Harrisonville at 16:53. In third place was Blake Digiaimo of Newton at 17:19. Among the female runners, Nicole Attas of Hopatcong was the champion with a time of 18:26. Corinne Fitzgerald of New York City was second at 19:38, and Stephanie Peterson of Newton was third, running 19:52.

The Turkey Trot enjoys a picture-perfect location and pre-run festivities including the Pasta Party for all registered runners catered by Villa Capri II on Wednesday night at Lake Mohawk Country Club. The Turkey Trot was directed by Sabrina Lucas and co-chaired by Kylen Anderson, a member of the Sparta Board of Education, and Dorothy LaBeau, trustee and past president of the Sparta Education Foundation. Scores of local volunteers kept things running smoothly, and Sparta High School junior Ryden Mederos sang the national anthem before the race. Sparta School District Superintendent Dr. Mike Rossi, who also ran in the 5K, was the official race starter. Additionally, the SEF hosted a food drive, collecting non-perishable donations to benefit the Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry.

Turkey Trot sponsors include Title Sponsor Krogh’s Restaurant and Brew Pub; Gold Sponsor ThorLabs; Bib Sponsor Eastern Propane; Goody Bag Sponsor Realty Executives; Leaderboard Sponsor Spavia;
Silver Level Sponsors are Culligan (Andy Ball), Villa Capri II, Lake Mohawk Country Club, Krave Events Caterer, Fraser Cerra LLC Attorneys at Law, Wellness Pediatrics, Pine Cone Chiropractic, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Dykstra Associates, Newton Memorial Hospital Foundation/Atlantic Health, Duphiney Financial Network, Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), Integrity Dental of Sparta, Biondo Investment Advisors, SchoolCraft Studios, Staff at Sparta Township Schools, Coldwell Banker Julia “Julie” Killen and Sharpe Plumbing and Heating.

Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $895,000 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501 (c) 3 NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information about joining or volunteering.