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Turkey Trot: Annual Thanksgiving run in Cape set

By Staff | Nov 20, 2014

Registrations for the Turkey Trot 5K run keep climbing little by little each year, making it one of the area’s oldest and biggest running events of the year. Expectations for this year’s 35th annual event are no different.

Organizers at the Fort Myers Track Club have ordered 2,400 T-shirts that will be given to the first 2,400 runners to register. That is at least 100 more T-shirts than were ordered last year. Proceeds from the event benefits the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida under construction at Lee Health Park. The track club has pledged to raise more than $200,000 for the hospital through its races with $27,000 donated to the cause last year from the Turkey Trot.

“We are at about the same level of entries we were at this time last year,” said race director Tom Murphy. “We’ve planned for more, so we should be around 2,500. The Turkey Trot draws the most entries of any other run in the area.”

The track club uses its 18 board members and about 75 more volunteers to put on the race.

Participants have several choices to make when registering. The main event is the 5K run/walk that starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Cape Coral Hospital’s Wellness Center, 609 SE 13th Court. A well marked course takes runners through nearby neighborhoods and finishes where it started.

Runners also can sign up for a one-mile fun run that starts at 8:45 a.m. or after the 5K. Being Thanksgiving Day, the event is family friendly and offering a 100-yard Tot Trot beginning at 9:15 or after the mile run.

Runners are encouraged to register early and online to save money. More than 150 runners signed up on-site last year, but the entry fee is higher on race day. Visit www.ftmyerstrackclub.com to register and click on the Turkey Trot link.

“Signing up early is always the cheapest way to go,” said Murphy. “We’d like everyone to come to one of the early pickup locations to get their race packets. The earlier they pick up their packet the more likely they are to get the size T-shirt they want.”

The entry fee for those who register through Saturday is $20 for adults and $10 for ages 17 and under. The fee goes up after Saturday to $25 and $15. The fee for the mile run is $10 and the Tot Trot $5 until the day of the event. Race day registration opens at 6 a.m. and all 5K entries are $35.

Runners can begin to pick up their race packets noon to 5 p.m. today at Snyderman’s Shoes store, 1900 Trailwinds Drive, in Fort Myers; also 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Run Florida, 13101 McGregor Blvd., in Fort Myers; or noon to 6 p.m. on Nov. 26 at the Wellness Center.

A continental breakfast and refreshments will be available on race day with water stations located throughout the course for runners.

Trophies are awarded to the top male and female overall winners, top male and female masters (40+), top male and female grandmasters (50+), top male and female senior grandmasters (60+) as well the top five places in all male and female age groups.