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Turkey Trot 5K race is a Thanksgiving tradition

Nov. 8, 2007

KALAMAZOO--One of the longest running races in Michigan will be held on the campus of Western Michigan University Saturday, Nov. 17. University Recreation is sponsoring the 44th Turkey Trot 5K road race, a 3.1-mile run/walk through the WMU campus that is open to the public and begins outside the east entrance to the Student Recreation Center at 9 a.m.

The race changed this year from a Thursday evening event to Saturday morning due to an increase in community participation, says Raymond Arnold, WMU assistant director of intramural sports and recreation. For example, last year 150 local middle school students from the Girls on Track program and their parents joined the WMU race. This year, the organization plans to bring more than 200 runners.

"The race is a lot of fun, and it's a very nice WMU tradition. The Turkey Trot is one of the oldest races in the state of Michigan," Arnold says. "The Intramural Office and University Recreation staff put a lot of hard work into this event to make it a signature piece for the fall semester."

The timing of the race is not the only change over the years. At its inception in 1952, the winning group received a live turkey, the first prize for an individual was a duck and second prize a chicken. By the 1960s, a third prize of a dozen eggs was added. The race also started out much shorter at a mile and a half.

This year, framed awards will be given for the overall first-place male and female finishers in both the 5K run and walk. Separate awards will go to the top male and female finishers among students and among faculty and staff. There is also a prize for the runner who finishes last--a Cornish hen.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, runners are encouraged to bring a canned food donation to the race to benefit a local food charity. All runners will be timed using chip technology provided by Great Lakes ChampionChip.

Non-refundable registration is $15 per runner, available now in the Student Recreation Center main office through Friday, Nov. 9. Registration will be taken the morning of the event for $20 at the recreation center's indoor tennis courts. Participants and volunteers get a free t-shirt.

For more information or to download a registration form, visit the University Recreation Web site, www.src.wmich.edu.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

WMU News
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