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Thursday morning, thousands of people will fill the streets of downtown Springfield for Turkey Trot, a 5K run, walk and community event sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
Registration for Turkey Trot is a little ahead of last year, according to Springfield-Greene County Park Board spokesperson Jenny Fillmer Edwards. She says more than 9000 people took part in the Turkey Trot in 2012, and they hope to see even more this year.
According to Fillmer Edwards, this is the 19thyear for the popular event.
"It has just grown and grown and grown, and it's reached the point where it's a pretty large community event, and it sort of takes on a life of its own. There's just no feeling like being in a group that large that's all doing something together on a holiday for a good cause," she said.
She says Turkey Trot has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many families—some of them even come in costume.
According to Fillmer Edwards, it’s a great way to start off the holiday.
"It is a great way to feel a little less guilty about the number of calories you're about to consume with your Thanksgiving meal. Get out and do a 5K first thing in the day," she said.
The race starts Thursday at 8 am. There are three staggered race starts: Elite runners are in front, followed by less competitive runners and finally those with strollers and dogs and those who just want to walk.
You can register at the Springfield Expo Center Wednesday from 8 am to 5:30 pm and from 6:15 to 7 Thursday morning. Those who got in on the early bird registration can pick up race packets during those times.
Volunteers will be collecting nonperishable items for Ozarks Food Harvest at the Expo Center Thursday. Proceeds from Turkey Trot will benefit the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Scholarship Fund.
Motorists may have to find a new route while the event takes place. Stretches of E. St. Louis, National, Grand and Kimbrough will be closed for a short time during Turkey Trot.
To learn more, parkboard.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.