SPRINGFIELD, MO — For the first time in two years, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk returns in person to downtown Springfield. Springfield’s Thanksgiving tradition, now celebrating its 28th year, begins at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 24, in front of the Springfield Expo Center, 625 E. St Louis St.
Turkey Trot is Springfield’s largest timed race of the year and the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K in Missouri, attracting more than 7,000 participants in 2019 before going virtual for two years. Turkey Trot is held rain, snow or shine.
Discount Early Bird registration, available through Friday, Nov. 18, 5 p.m., is $25 for adults, $20 for kids 12 and under. Register online at ParkBoard.org/TurkeyTrot, or deliver a paper form in person to Killian Sports Complex, 2141 E. Pythian St.,
After Nov. 18, registration is full price: $35/adults, $30/kids. Register online or in person at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St Louis St., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. and on Race Day, 6-7:15 a.m. Packet pick-up takes place at the same place and time.
Registration includes a long-sleeve Turkey Trot t-shirt and a race bib with timing device.
Participants may register for one of four race categories, each with staggered start times:
Elite- Participants have completed a sanctioned 5K in the last 18 months, maximum time 24 minutes for females, 21 minutes for males. For safety, no dogs or strollers are allowed in this category. Elite starts first.
Runner- Participants will run or jog a 5K at a consistent pace without walking breaks. For safety, no dogs or strollers are allowed in this category. Runners start second, about 90 seconds after the Elite start.
Walker/Family- Ideal for groups, families with strollers or small children, or anyone wishing to walk part or all of the route. Walker/Family is the largest group and it starts third.
Dog- Participants running, jogging or walking with dogs. Strollers and groups are also allowed in this category. Dogs must be on a leash. Please pick up after your dog. Pet Category starts last.
No matter which race category, participants’ individual race times begin when they cross the starting line and end at the finish line.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Park Board Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund and the Developmental Center of the Ozarks. Turkey Trot also serves as one of the largest one-day food drives for Ozarks Food Harvest, which collected more than 9,000 lbs. of food at the 2019 event.
For more information about Turkey Trot, visit ParkBoard.org/TurkeyTrot or call the Springfield-Greene County Park Board at 417-837-5817.
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).