A Thanksgiving tradition returns to Athens on Nov. 28, when participants start lining up at Cain Center for the annual Turkey Trot.
The Trot activities are now in their 16th year, and more than 300 entries are expected. Added to the Trot this year is the Drumstick Dash.
The Turkey Trot covers a 3.1-mile course, and draws runners from around the East Texas area. Runners can compete in the event, and be home to watch the games and holiday parades.
Runners are grouped according to their gender and age. The top-three finishers in the male and female divisions will win awards, and a winner will be crowned in each age division.
Alexander Myers of Palestine was the first one to the finish line in each of the last two Turkey Trots. In 2012, he completed the course in 18.22.93. The best time among the women was turned in by Jennifer Burns, with a 21.55.17.
Sign ups are still open for $25 through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. On race-day, the entry fee is $30. The drumstick dash starts at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K race at 8:10 a.m. Anyone who wants to walk the course can start at 8:15 a.m.
Runners can bring a canine companion to join them on the course, if the companion stays on a leash. Entry fee for a dog is $10. Prizes are awarded to the dogs who distinguish themselves during the race.
Danny’s Smokehouse in Athens will smoke turkeys for a drawing the day of the race. Each race participant will receive a T-shirt and a packet containing a ticket for door prizes. Area businesses have donated items to be given to those whose tickets are drawn.
Anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Athens Food Pantry will receive an extra ticket to go in the drawing for a Danny’s Smokehouse turkey.