Longtime Fresno Turkey Trot veterans will notice a few differences when the tradition kicks off on Thanksgiving morning.
The 18th annual version of the race is getting a mini-makeover this year, in the form of new courses and new race swag.
To paraphrase Oprah, “You get a pie! And you get a pie! And you get a pie!”
Are we clear here? Every registered runner and walker at this year’s Turkey Trot is going to get a pie. (A 4-inch personal pumpkin or pecan pie. You’ll also get a Thanksgiving-themed long sleeve shirt.)
But! Before you can eat that pie, you’re going to have to earn it by running or walking one of two new courses designed for this year’s event. In previous years, 5K runners followed the same course used for the CIF Cross Country Championship. This year, in order to accommodate the large number of participants, new courses for the 5K run and 2-mile walk have been designed.
Race director Mike Herman says some athletes have expressed disappointment over the change but overall, the new courses better serve the size and scope of the event. This year, a record 3,000 people are expected to participate. In addition to alleviating congestion for all runners, the new courses are more stroller-friendly than the old.
Some traditions remain the same: the costume contest is back, and the largest family group in attendance is also eligible for a prize.
The Turkey Trot kicks off at 8 a.m., with the timed 5K runners beginning in pace-based waves ahead of the non-competitive 2-mile runners and walkers. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 7 a.m. Due to the record number of participants expected, Woodward Park’s parking fee will be waived to streamline park entry.
Fresno Turkey Trot
When: Thursday, November 23
Where: Woodward Park, 7775 N. Friant Rd., Fresno
Time: Costume contest, 7:30 a.m, 5K and 2-mile walk start at 8 a.m.
Cost: $35 ($40 after Nov. 21). Race fee is $20 for children 12 and under.
Registration is available online at the race website.