The place to be on Thanksgiving morning is the 12th annual Turkey Trot in Johnson City.
The 5K Road Race and Family Fun Run/Walk is set for Thursday, Nov. 23. As always, the Turkey Trot will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Legion Street in Johnson City, near Memorial Park Community Center. An awards ceremony for the overall winners will be held at Cardinal Park immediately following the race.
“This is a tradition for our community,” said Race Chairwoman Jenny Brock. “The Turkey Trot kicks off the holiday season in the best way – with friends, family and a healthy run or walk before the feast.”
The Turkey Trot welcomes competitive runners, casual runners, walkers, kids, strollers, wheelchairs, handcycles, and dogs. It’s an all-inclusive good time for participants of all ages and abilities.
Children have a strong presence at the Turkey Trot, and area schools are awarded cash prizes based on participation. Students are also encouraged to participate in a coloring and essay contest. Like last year, the winners will be named grand marshals of the Turkey Trot.
“The coloring and essay contests have become one of our favorite parts of the Turkey Trot because the imaginations of our area children are amazing,” said Race Director Karen Hubbs. “This year, we are asking kids to write a story about some adventures that Trotter the Turkey and his friends encounter on their way to the Turkey Trot. We can’t wait to read the entries.”
Submission forms have been distributed to area elementary schools and can also be downloaded at www.jcturkeytrot.com. Deadline for entries is Nov. 10.
In the past 10 years, the Turkey Trot has awarded approximately $150,000 to organizations that promote health and wellness in our area. From last year’s event, a total of $28,000 was given to Niswonger Children’s Hospital for the Morning Mile program, the ETSU Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education, and Johnson City Senior Services.
“We take a lot of pride in putting proceeds toward other endeavors that support overall wellness of citizens of all ages,” Brock said.
The Turkey Trot also awards a total of $3,500 to the top three schools with the most participants in two divisions.
Registration for the Turkey Trot is now under way at www.jcturkeytrot.com.
Early registrants (by Nov. 19) are guaranteed the best price and one of the always-popular long-sleeved Turkey Trot T-shirts. Online registrations will close at midnight Nov. 19. Early registration by midnight Nov. 19 is $25 for adults; $20 for students (18 and younger). Late registration (Nov. 21-22) is $30 for adults; $25 for students. A special discount will be available for families of five or more (living in the same household) that register by Nov. 19. There will be no registrations the day of the event.
Packet pick-up and late registrations will be at Memorial Park Community Center from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22.
A wheelchair division will be offered again this year, and strollers are allowed. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed to start at the back of the pack, and owners are asked to please pick up after their pets.
For more information about the 5K USATF-certified course, trophy categories, school awards and prizes, parking areas, and road closures please visit www.jcturkeytrot.com. and like the Johnson City Turkey Trot 5K on Facebook.
Event management for the Turkey Trot is provided by The Goose Chase.