Thanksgiving Day, Thurs., Nov. 23, 2023
Join Springfield’s Thanksgiving Day Tradition! The 29th Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk Presented by Brad Bradshaw, MD, JD, LC, takes place Thursday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m. in downtown Springfield, rain or shine.
Register to earn your Thanksgiving calories and support your community through the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund. Please bring five food items to donate to Ozarks Food Harvest.
Discount Early Bird Online registration opens Tues. Aug. 1, at $25/Adults, $20/Kids 12 yrs. and under/ Online transaction fee up to 13 percent applies. Early Bird registration closed Friday, Nov. 17, 5 p.m.
Full Price registration, Fri., Nov. 17, 5:01 p.m., through race day, is $35/Adults, $30/Kids 12 and under.
Packet pick-up is Wednesday, Nov. 22, 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. and Race Day, 6-7:15 a.m., at Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St Louis.
Participants may also register on site and drop off five nonperishable food items for Ozarks Food Harvest. Historically, Turkey Trot is one of the group’s largest food drives of the year.
Out of town for Turkey Trot? Register by Friday, Nov. 3, as a Traveling Trotter to have your packet mailed anywhere in the US, for an additional fee.
Turkey Trot is presented by Brad Bradshaw MD, JD, LC, with additional support from TierOne, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company, Esterly Schneider and Foundation Recovery Systems.
Online registration opens Aug. 1.
Packet Pick up
Packet pick up will held Wednesday, Nov. 22, at Springfield Expo Center, where participants may also register on site and drop off food donations for longtime Turkey Trot partner, Ozarks Food Harvest. Turkey Trot is one of the group’s largest food drives of the year.
Turkey Trot Benefits
Turkey Trot is Springfield’s largest timed 5K run/walk of the year and the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K in Missouri, attracting more than 7,000 participants in an average year.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund and the Developmental Center of the Ozarks.
The Scholarship Fund allows youth who quality for free and reduced meals to participate in Park Board programs, sports, summer camp and other fee-based activities. Since 2008, nearly 9,000 individual scholarships have been awarded!
DCO provides therapies and educational support to infants and children with developmental disabilities or delays, ages birth to three; as well as an inclusive childcare center and preschool for all children six weeks through six years of age. It also provides daytime educational, training and employment services for adults who have disabilities.
Thank you for supporting Turkey Trot!
Historically, Turkey Trot also serves as one of the largest one-day food drives of the year for Ozarks Food Harvest. This year, we are requesting participants donate five non-perishable food items at packet pick up.
Training for the Trot
Get ready for the 29th Annual Turkey Trot 5K by training with a group, at a new Parks location each week. For individuals who want to run their first 5K race, get back into running, or just train with others. Includes nine training sessions, full Turkey Trot registration and a Training for the Trot t-shirt.
- What’s Turkey Trot?
Turkey Trot is a 5K race, run, walk and community event that takes place on the morning of Thanksgiving Day in downtown Springfield. Proceeds from the event benefit the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Scholarship Fund. Turkey Trot is also a food drive for Ozarks Food Harvest. Turkey Trot started in 1995 with 142 participants. The event has grown to around 7,000 participants in 2019. It’s the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K in Missouri and Springfield’s largest annual timed race. It’s Springfield’s Thanksgiving tradition!
- Where and when is Turkey Trot?
Turkey Trot is Thanksgiving Day —Thursday, Nov. 24, 8 a.m. The race starts and ends at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St Louis St., downtown Springfield. The race course includes downtown Springfield and streets around the perimeter of the Missouri State University campus. View the course map here.
- How can I be a part of Turkey Trot?
You must register to participate in Turkey Trot. Registration includes a long-sleeved tshirt and race bib/number with timing chip. You can register online here until Nov. 22, or register in-person on the day of the race.
- How much does registration cost?
Each online registration will have an up to 13-percent service fee. Full-price registration, including in-person, is $35/adults, $30/kids 12 and younger. In-person registration is open Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; or on Race Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. 6-7:15 a.m.
- May I register for more than one person at a time?
Yes, but everyone needs their own registration form. You may use a single check or credit card transaction, or cash, for all your registration forms.
- Do I need to register my baby or toddler?
Babies and toddlers don’t need to register. Little kids need to register if they want a shirt or an official race time. Available kids t-shirt sizes are Youth Medium and Youth Large.
- When/where do I get my t-shirt and race packet?
Packet pick-up is Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; or on Race Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. 6-7:15 a.m., at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St Louis St., downtown Springfield. You may pick up packets for friends and family, but please make sure the right person gets the right packet.
- Do I have to run the race, or may I walk?
You can go at your own speed. There are categories for racers, runners and walkers. The majority of people walk this event!
- Which category should I enter?
There are four categories:
- Elite: For runners who have completed a timed 5K race in a minimum of 21 minutes/men and 24 minutes/women in the last 18 months. No dogs or strollers allowed.
- Runner: For runners who will run the entire race without walking breaks. No dogs or strollers allowed.
- Family/Walker: For anyone participating with a family, a group or a stroller. Participants may run or walk. Strollers are allowed.
- Dog: For anyone participating with a dog on a leash. Participants may run or walk. Strollers, families and group are allowed. Please clean up after your dog.
- How do the four categories work?
There will be one starting line, with two staggered starts.
- Elite: Your race bib is RED. Line up by the stage/starting gate on St Louis Street, near John Q Hammons Parkway. Elite starts with the first starting gun, right at 8 a.m. This area is marked by RED flags.
- Runners: Your race bib is GREEN. Line up behind the Elite on St Louis Street. When Elite clears out, the Runners group moves forward for a second starting gun. This area is marked by GREEN flags.
- Walker/Family: Your race bib is WHITE. This area has no fencing. Line up behind Runners on St Louis Street, from west of Jordan Valley Car Park to Kimbrough Ave. This is, by far, the largest group. The Walker/Family groups moves forward after the Runner group clears out.
- Dog: Your race bib is YELLOW. Participants with dogs are encouraged to line up near the rear of the Walker/Family group, close to the Springfield Expo Center. This group will start with the Walker/Family group. Please clean up after your dog.
- What about wheelchair users?
Wheelchair users may enter any category — including Elite, if they qualify.
- What is a Traveling Trotter?
Out of town or avoiding crowds? Choose your own route as a Traveling Trotter! Place your order by Fri., Nov. 4, and we’ll mail your packet to any address in the US, $32/participant, includes shipping. Traveling Trotters are not eligible for official results or medals.
- May I bring my rollerblades, skateboard, scooter or bicycle?
No. For safety reasons, including preventing trip hazards in a large crowd, no skates, skateboards, scooters, roller blades, Heelys, bicycles and other wheeled toys are not allowed.
- May I bring headphones?
No. Due to safety, headphones are not allowed during the race.
- May I bring my dog?
Yes. Friendly dogs are welcome in the Dog category only, and are not allowed in the Elite or Runner groups. Dogs must be on a leash. Please clean up after your dog.
- May I bring my stroller?
Yes. Strollers are welcome in the Family/Walker and Dog categories, and are not allowed in the Elite or Runner groups. No registration is required for kids in strollers.
- Why are strollers and dogs not allowed in the Elite and Runner categories?
Dogs, leashes, dog waste and strollers create a safety hazard for other runners, especially at the starting line. It’s very easy for runners to be blocked by or trip over dogs and strollers. You may run the whole course with a dog or stroller, but you’ll have to start with Walker/Family or Dog categories.
- Do I have to be in front, or in the Elite or Runner categories, to win a prize?
The first male and female runners to cross the finish line are the overall race winners, and must enter the Elite category. The male and female Masters Division (age 40+) and the male and female Grand Masters Division (age 60+), will be determined by timing chips, but are advised to enter the Elite category.
- Who may win prizes?
Immediately following the race, trophies are presented at the Springfield Expo Center to Overall male and female race winners, male and female Masters Division (age 40+) winners and the male and female Grand Masters Division (age 60+) winners. Medals are mailed to 1st, 2nd and 3rdplace age division winners, starting the week after the race. Age divisions are in five-year increments, starting at age 9 and under and spanning to age 84 and older.
- How may I find my race time?
Preliminary race times are posted here as soon as they become available. Overall winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony, while age division awards are mailed to winners after a 48-hour dispute period.
- Where do I take my food donation for Ozarks Food Harvest?
Thanks for donating food! Drop off your food donations inside the Springfield Expo Center. Volunteers from Ozarks Food Harvest will be on site Wednesday and Thursday. Look for the signs. Thanks for donating!
- Where do I park?
View the parking map HERE. Free parking is first-come, first-served at Jordan Valley Ice Park, University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, the Discovery Center and MSU lots #39 (Kentwood) and #52 (Christ Episcopal Church). Paid parking is available for $10 at Jordan Valley Car Park (garage).
- Where can I leave my bags or coats?
Leave all bags or coats in your vehicle, or leave them at home. For the safety of all participants, no unattended bags or items are allowed at or along the race site. Such items may be considered abandoned and are subject to search and seizure.
- What if I get hurt, or can’t finish the race?
We have course marshals, paramedics and police officers patrolling the course. Call 911 if you need help and they will be dispatched to your location.
- What if my child gets lost?
Lost children will be taken to the Lost & Found area inside the Springfield Expo Center. Call 911 if you need help, and a police officer will be dispatched to your location.
- What if it rains or snows?
Turkey Trot is held rain, shine, snow, sleet or whatever weather. Please dress accordingly. The race start may be delayed by severe weather. Check Facebook @TurkeyTrotSGF for weather updates.
- I registered, and then I changed my mind. May I get a refund?
Sorry, all registrations are final. No refunds will be issued.
- This is my first Turkey Trot. Anything else I need to know?
Turkey Trot is FUN! Grab your friends and family, get registered and join in Springfield’s Thanksgiving tradition!
- How do we compete for Best Dressed and Largest Family?
To shorten the Awards Ceremony, and to include more participation, contests for best dressed individual and group, cutest dog and largest group or family have moved to Facebook @TurkeyTrotSGF. Contestants must share a photo of themselves participating in Turkey Trot on this page to be eligible to compete. Winners of best dressed and cutest dog are determined by the most online interactions (comments, likes, etc.) Winners of the largest family are determined by a photo with the most people from a single group wearing this year’s Turkey Trot t-shirt.