TRAVERSE CITY — By the time Kyle Dotterrer crossed the finish line at Thursday’s Turkey Trot he had a slight accumulation of snow across his entire body.
But not even the snowy, slippery and cold conditions could slow down Dotterrer too much. Nor could the fact that it had been a couple of weeks since he last ran.
The Traverse City Central High School cross country standout, who earlier this month took fourth at the Division 1 state finals and was the regional champion, won the annual Turkey Trot 5K with a time of 17:18. Dotterrer cruised to the victory by nearly two minutes ahead of Traverse City’s Kyle Siemer (19:07), who was roughly a half-minute ahead of Dotterrer’s teammate at TC Central, Jordan Query (19:41).
“I felt out of shape,” said Dotterrer. “My coach (Jacob Secor) helped me out a little bit, paced me through. It was more of a pride thing.”
Dotterrer made sure to show off that pride as he finished the last 50 yards of the run, proudly and prominently displaying the Traverse City Central sweatshirt he was wearing to the group of Traverse City West runners who were volunteering near the finish line.
“(Conditions) were really, really slippery,” said Dotterrer.
Indeed this year’s race was a stark contrast to last year, with unseasonably mild conditions that featured no snow cover whatsoever. This year the entire course was run on a blanket of several inches of snow and temperatures in the teens. The conditions didn’t deter the more than 2,000 competitors who ran the 5K and the 5-mile events.
“Mostly it was just to make me feel good later about eating so much,” said Dotterrer, who has taken a bit of a break from his usual running schedule as he’s started training with the high school nordic ski team.