Turkey Day 5K expecting 400 runners

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GREENFIELD — Hundreds of runners will flock into downtown Greenfield Thanksgiving morning.

The city’s Turkey Day 5K is set to build upon its success over the past four years, said Ellen Kuker, director of the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department. She’s expecting the 5K race and 1-mile fun walk to bring in about 400 participants, which would make it the biggest showing since it began in 2016.

Runners start outside the Memorial Building, 98 E. North St., at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28. The route winds 3.1 miles through downtown Greenfield, the Pennsy Trail and Riley Park.

“People not from Greenfield, from out of town, they get to see quite a bit of what makes our community so special,” Kuker said.

Participants are encouraged, Kuker said, to wear costumes. She’s seen runners dressed up as turkeys, Charlie Brown and other festive apparel. The best-dressed men and women can also win awards.

“We really just never know what somebody might wear,” Kuker said. “People have fun with it.”

The number of participants doubled to 300 runners in 2017 after its first race in 2016, Kuker said. Last year’s race drew 350, so she’s hoping to hit the 400-runner mark this year. It’s also a family-friendly event, Kuker said. Participants can bring their children in strollers and their four-legged furry friends.

Some runners and families who come from out of town have made the 5K a tradition, Kuker said.

“They see value of starting it out on a healthy note,” she said.

The proceeds from the race — sponsored by Dellen Automotive, Hancock Health and Forty Financial Inc. — benefits the parks and recreation department, Hancock Hope House and Greenfield Main Street. Each organization splits the revenue. Last year, the race raised $9,000, Kuker said.

Andrea Mallory, executive director of the Hancock Hope House, said participants each year have brought canned goods for the shelter’s clients. The race proceeds have helped at least three to four people each year — about 15 total thus far — stay at the homeless shelter for 90 or more days. Mallory said it costs about $1,000 for each client to be at the shelter for that period of time, and many stay there longer.

Mallory, who’s also a member of the parks board, said she appreciates the collaboration among Hope House, Greenfield Main Street and Greenfield Parks to offer a family-oriented event.

Participants can sign up and pay for the race fee online or the morning of the event, Kuker said. The 5K costs $40 per person, and the 1-mile race costs $35. Runners will also receive T-shirts and finishers medals, and they can pick up race packets from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at the Wooden Bear, 21 W. North St. The first 400 participants who pick up their packets will receive commemorative drawstring backpacks.

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WHAT: Turkey Day 5K

WHEN: 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28

WHERE: Memorial Building, 98 E. North St., Greenfield

COST: $40 for 5K; $35 for 1-mile fun walk

INFO: Participants can sign up and pay online at www.runsignup.com/Race/IN/Greenfield/GreenfieldTurkeyDay5K or the morning of the race.

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The Turkey Day 5K starts at the Memorial Building and travels west on U.S. 40, south on Center Street, east on the Pennsy Trail, north on Morristown Pike, west on U.S. 40, circle through Riley Park, and west on U.S. 40 to the finish line at the Memorial Building.

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The Turkey Day 5K in Greenfield isn’t the only run/walk on Thanksgiving morning in Hancock County. The Shirley Turkey Trot 5K walk/run will take place at 8 a.m. in the town.

Registration/check-in begins at 7 a.m. at  Shirley-Wilkinson Community United Methodist Church, at the corner of South and White streets.

Awards will be presented at 9 a.m. in three divisions: adult, youth and seniors. The them is patriotism, and an award will be presented for the best patriotic costume

Registration is $15 for students/adults (ages 13 and older); and $12 for youth (age 12 and younger) participants. All participants will receive a short-sleeve T-shirt (guaranteed if registration is completed by Monday, Nov. 18), and snacks will be available at the finish line.

T-shirts can be upgraded to long sleeves for an extra fee. 

People interested in participating can access the registration page online by visiting the Passport to Hancock County 5K Run/Walk Series page on Facebook and looking for the Shirley Turkey Trot post.

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