Keep on Trotting: Turkey Trot shaping up for banner year

Nathan Baker • Nov 20, 2017 at 11:00 PM

The Johnson City Turkey Trot 5K is lining up to be the most well-attended race in the event’s 12-year history, and organizers are excited.

As of Sunday night, when the online registration period ended, race director Karen Hubbs said 3,500 people had signed up to take part in the Thanksgiving Day family fun run and walk.

“So far, we have passed where we were at this point in our highest attended year in 2015,” she said. “This is the highest we’ve ever had. I think we’ll pass 4,000, but it’s just a question of how much we pass it by.”

Combined online and late registrants reached 4,166 in 2015, setting a record.

This year, late registration is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St. There will be no registration on the day of the race.

The annual event brings thousands of competitive and casual runners, walkers, kids, strollers, wheelchairs, handcycles and dogs.

Organizers bill the tradition as a healthy kickoff to a holiday centered on high caloric intake.

Hubbs said attendance is usually high when the weather is good, and Thursday’s forecast is 51 degrees and partly cloudy — not bad for running. Last year, smoke from nearby wildfires blanketed Johnson City, apparently contributing to the drop in attendees from the year before.

The main pack of runners will take off at 8:30 on Thursday morning from the starting line on Legion Street near the Memorial Park Community Center. The race ends at Cardinal Park.

An awards ceremony will immediately follow, with prizes for the top three finishers in several trophy categories.

For more information, visit jcturkeytrot.com.

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