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39th annual Turkey Trot this weekend
Turkey trot pic1
The 39th annual Turkey Trot in Turlock is set for Saturday. The run includes a 2-mile trek and a 1-mile childrens run, like the one pictured here, around Donnelly Park. - photo by Journal file photo

Before sitting down to furiously feast on Thanksgiving next week, put your running shoes on for the 39th annual Turkey Trot this Saturday.

Each year, the City of Turlock Parks and Recreation Department invites members of the Turlock community to join together for the Turkey Trot – one of Turlock’s longest running traditions. The family friendly fun-run gives participants the chance to win full-sized turkeys as they finish a one or two mile race around Donnelly Park.

Growing in size each year, the annual Turkey Trot provides a place for the community to join together to celebrate the holiday while getting in their daily exercise.

“I love running and anytime there is an opportunity for me to participate in a running event with my family and friends I do so,” said Turlock Police Officer Mayra Lewis, who will be participating in Saturday’s event. “It’s a great reason to get out of the house, de-stress and exercise — all while interacting with friends and family. This is what it’s all about and I love it.”

Each participant will receive an official 2013 Turkey Trot T-shirt, while winners can win prizes such as a full-sized turkey just in time for Thanksgiving. In previous years, participants have also been awarded chickens and pallets of eggs.

“I am especially excited about this fun run because it is put together by our Recreation Department,” said Lewis. “The City of Turlock has really made an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness among its employees. This year, the City will be raffling off prices for all employees to participate, including an award for the department who has the most participants.”

While many enjoy the annual Turkey Trot as a way to stay healthy, others find it to be an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Across the state, fun-runs have been gaining in popularity with hundreds of people signing up in teams to participate.

“It is always better to exercise with other people. This is why these fun runs have become so popular,” said Lewis. “When you sign up for a fun run, no matter what the distance it is, you are making a commitment that you will be there; this guarantees that you will get exercise in for the day.”

Although the City is encouraging participants to sign up in advance to be guaranteed a T-shirt, on-site signups will be permitted at the event.

“I encourage everyone to sign up,” said Lewis. “Who knows, maybe you may even come home with Thanksgiving dinner.”

The 39th annual Turkey Trot will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Donnelly Park, located at 600 Pedras Road. Registration fees are $17 for the 2-mile race, and $12 for the 1-mile race.