12th Annual Turkey Trot 5K race kickoff event held at Chero

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – The 12th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Road Race and Family Fun Run/Walk is set for Thanksgiving morning on Thursday, November 13. It starts at 8:30 a.m. at Cardinal Park on Legion Street in Johnson City, near Memorial Park Community Center.

Students and faculty at Cherokee Elementary held a kickoff ceremony with special surprises, including a new program to help kids stay fit and t-shirts for the race.

The school was given a gift, from proceeds from the Turkey Trot, to help them get fit.

“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 race welcomes all sorts of runners at various skill levels – competitive runners, casual runners, walkers, kids, strollers, wheelchairs, handcycles, and dogs.

In addition, area schools are awarded cash prizes based on participation. Students can participate in a coloring and essay contest. 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 http://www.jcturkeytrot.com. Better hurry! The deadline for entries is Nov. 11.

For the past 10 years, the Turkey Trot has awarded approximately $150,000 to organizations promoting health and wellness in our area.

From last year’s event, $30,000 was distributed in $10,000 checks 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 underway at http://www.jcturkeytrot.com.

Early registration ends, Nov. 20 and early registrants, organizers say, are guaranteed the best price and the long-sleeved Turkey Trot T-shirts.

Online registration will close at midnight Nov. 20 and 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. 20. 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.-8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22.

A wheelchair division is also offered and strollers are allowed. Organizers say those with well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed to start at the ‘back of the pack’ and are asked to please pick up after their pets.

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