Palatine's 40th annual Turkey Trot to be held virtually
The 40th anniversary of Palatine Park District's Turkey Trot 2-mile and 5-mile run will be held virtually, beginning Thursday, Nov. 26.
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means the district's annual Turkey Trot Race, which normally brings nearly 2,000 people together on Thanksgiving morning, is quickly approaching.
Due to the pandemic and risks associated with gathering in large groups, the district has decided to host this event virtually.
To celebrate this commemorative year, racers will have 40 hours to complete either distance beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, and ending Friday, Nov. 27.
Early morning routines have always started with the annual Turkey Trot for families like the Kruegers.
"(My family) has been running in the Turkey Trot every year for almost 20 years," said Abby Krueger, a longtime Palatine resident. "Thanksgiving celebrations officially begin once we head out the door toward the starting line. Whether it is 30 degrees and snowing or 70 degrees and sunny."
The district created a committee of staff members in July to prepare for multiple race-day scenarios.
"Our staff was very passionate about finding a way to make this year's Turkey Trot one to remember -- not just because of the pandemic, but because of the excitement of 40 years together," said, Brittani Sotzen, communications & marketing manager for the district.
2020's Turkey Trot will feature a new logo, a die-cut premium medal, a ruby red TEK shirt and the option to purchase an additional upgrade item.
"Even though we can't host a traditional race with a start line, (the district) wants the 40th Anniversary Turkey Trot to be as memorable as the previous 39 races," said Sotzen.
The district will publish a few suggested routes for participants to utilize, but also wants to encourage that racers go out and explore Palatine. While not mandatory, if racers would like to be competitive, they must submit their GPS tracked workout via a submission form on the district's mobile app. The top three male and female finishers will earn a place-ranked medal.
All participants will have an opportunity to pick up their race day swag prior to Thanksgiving Day. Each participant will receive a finisher's medal and a long-sleeve TEK shirt. In addition, the first 200 people to register will get a Turkey Trot Running Gaiter for free.
The initial response to the complex race day changes has been overwhelmingly positive.
Executive Director Mike Clark said, "I'm proud of our community, who has accepted and adapted to our new way of operating and greatly appreciate their support and patience. Leadership is determined to get on the other side of this and welcome back our dedicated park district staff, volunteers and participants."
With more than 150 registrants already signed up, the district is thrilled that race day is quickly approaching.
To register for Palatine Park District's Turkey Trot 2-mile or 5-mile race, visit palatineparks.org. Registration is $25 per person and there is an available upgrade item -- a Turkey Trot branded blanket for $16 that can be added to any registration.