Benny Boyd

Lockhart State Park to host annual Turkey Trot

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The Lockhart State Park is offering a way for residents to shed off a few of those Thanksgiving calories with its Turkey Trot 1-mile or 5-K run.
The run – or walk, if you’re still hurting from all that turkey and stuffing – will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Lockhart State Park, 2012 State Park Road.
The event will be free with paid entry to the park. Regular park entrance fees for adults is $3, while children aged 12 and under will get in for free. Prizes – including gift cards to local fitness centers – will be handed out to top finishers.
According to Lockhart State Park Interpreter Lauren Hartwick, registration will not be required for the event. Runners and walkers simply need to show up the park’s headquarters, where both the 1-mile run and 5-K will begin.
Officials noted the event will be open to runners and walkers of all speeds and sizes, along with their canine companions, as long as the furry friends are on a leash. The course will not be ADA accessible, but the 1-mile route will be stroller-friendly.
Hartwick noted the race will find participants leaving headquarters to follow the paved cart paths of the golf course until they approach Park Road 10. At this point, runners participating in the 1-mile event will turn left and follow the paved golf cart path back to the headquarters building.
Runners participating in the 5-K event will continue on Park Road 10 and turn onto Chisholm Trail, she said. The 5-K course will follow Chisholm Trail, Fence Line Trail, Creekview Trail, and Hilltop Trail before retracing its steps.
“The difficulty for the 5-K is challenging because I find a lot of central Texas courses tend be held on more flat terrain,” said Hartwick, noting several narrow and steep areas featured on the course. “People are going to be huffing and puffing a little.”
According to Hartwick, the finish line for both races will be the same as the starting line. The courses will be well-marked, with an information booth will be on hand at the starting line for participants who have questions. There will be water stations at the 1-mile, 2-mile, and 2.5-mile markers. 
Spectators will be welcome to watch the race from the starting line or from the Hilltop Trailhead, officials said.
Hartwick said runners and walkers should dress according to the level of activity they plan on engaging in.
“Layers and athletic shoes are recommended,” she said, noting the event would be held rain or shine. “If it rains, please be aware that there may be muddy and/or rugged areas on the course.”
For Hartwick, the event can be seen as a way of expanding the way residents use the park beyond the norms of golfing and swimming.
“Come enjoy your state park in a new way,” said Hartwick.

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