January 10, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

2012 Turkey Trot Final Count Exceeds 9,000

The final tally of participants in the 18th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk is a record-breaking 9,007 — far exceeding the race day estimate of 8,500.

The final tally, along with a check for $27,117.47, will be presented to the Developmental Center of the Ozarks Friday, Jan. 11, 8:30 a.m. at the Springfield-Greene County Park Board's regular monthly meeting, held at Dan Kinney Family Center, 2701 S. Blackman Road, Springfield.

Since the first Turkey Trot in 1994, the Park Board has split the event proceeds between the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Park Board's Scholarship Fund.

The official Turkey Trot tally includes more than 2,000 on-site registrations made the day before the race and nearly 400 registrations made between 6:15 and 7 a.m. race day morning.

Warm sunny weather help boost this year's numbers, up 12 percent from 2011's attendance of 8,036. Turkey Trot attendance has steadily grown since 1994, when 117 people ran in 17-degree weather. Attendance has more than doubled since 2007.

"We couldn't be more thrilled about the tremendous growth of this event and the impact it continues to make in our community," said Anne-Mary McGrath, Turkey Trot Director. "Turkey Trot has become a Springfield community holiday tradition that brings out multiple generations of families. It's an event with a great deal of camaraderie, energy and excitement."

Turkey Trot participants also donated 7,045 pounds of non-perishable food items to Ozarks Food Harvest, enough to provide 5,870 meals. The weight was down slightly from 2011, but Ozarks Food Harvest officials attributed the difference to more light-weight food donations, like crackers and dry noodles. Turkey Trot remains one the organization's largest single-day food drives. Combined with the Park Board's summer Splash-n-Sizzle food drive at outdoor pools, Parks patrons have donated 20,799 pounds of food to Ozarks Food Harvest.

Turkey Trot is held every year in downtown Springfield on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. It's Springfield's largest 5K walk/run of the year and the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K in Missouri.

For media inquiries, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 471-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.