November 17, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

17th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk

Event organizers are anticipating another large crowd for the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Since becoming the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K run/walk in Missouri, event organizers continue to strive to make changes that will benefit all participants. Two such changes are in direct response to the growing number of registrants.

This year, the race will now have a Qualifying Wave, for those faster runners with a minimum qualifying time (males, 21 minutes or less; females, 24 minutes or less). The Qualifying Wave has been added in direct response to the growth of the event. As participation numbers continue to escalate each year, it's important to event organizers to keep everyone safe. By segmenting the faster runners and putting them in front of the rest of the participants, it's easier to maintain crowd control and manage the overall event.

The second change is a venue move for the packet pick-up and race registration activities on Wednesday, November 23. All participants that have pre-registered will be able to pick up their race packets at the Springfield Expo Center at 635 East St. Louis Street. Anyone not registered for the race, can do so on Wednesday at the same location. Participants will be able to take advantage of parking in both the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center surface lots or in the Jordan Valley Car Park free of charge for easy access to the Expo.

The route will remain the same as in 2010, with the starting line set at the intersection of East St. Louis and John Q. Hammons Parkway, winding through the Center City area. The finish line will be at the intersection of St. Louis Street and Kimbrough, with final deceleration and timing chip collection heading into the north side of the Expo Center on East Trafficway. As in previous years, the route will be adequately marked and patrolled for safety. The 5K course is a USA Track and Field (USATF)-certified course, which has had its distance certified for accuracy.

In 1994, Turkey Trot debuted with 117 participants. By 2007, participation had jumped to 4,246 and by 2010 the event registered a record number of 7,155. Event organizers couldn't be more pleased with the response. In addition to the record number of participants, donations to Ozarks Food Harvest also grow. Last year over 11,897 pounds of canned goods were collected making it one of their largest single day collections for the local organization.

Regal Beloit, Great Southern Bank, Heim-Young & Associates, Dynamic Body & Academy Sports are sponsors of this year's Trot. Additional sponsors include Positronic Industries, Independent Printing, St. John's, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners. Media support is proudly provided by 417 Magazine, KGBX 105.9, and KYTV. Official timing for each registered runner will be provided through UltraMax. Timing of each participant officially begins as he/she crosses the start and finish lines.

Race Details
About the Charities

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board Scholarship Fund is available for those who meet income guidelines and want to participate in a Park Board program. Year-round scholarships are limited and intended to assist those who could not otherwise pay for program fees. Call the Park Board offices for more information at 417-864-1049.

The Developmental Center of the Ozarks (DCO) serves infants, children, and adults who are developmentally disabled, developmentally delayed or physically disabled, as well as those who are not, through therapeutic, educational and rehabilitative programs. DCO holds as its greatest responsibility to promote personal growth through teaching those skills necessary for all citizens of our community to lead full and productive lives.

Media Contacts:

Anne-Mary McGrath, Park Board
417-864-1338 or 417-353-3514

Marisa DeClue, DCO