Turkey Trot STL Goes Virtual in Most of Metro; St. Charles Still Hosting In-Person Race

click to enlarge Turkey Trot STL will be a little different this year. - COURTESY FLEET FEET
Turkey Trot STL will be a little different this year.

Are you bummed you won't be able to gather with thousands of others Thanksgiving morning for a 5k race? Well, you can make up your own race path this year. Turkey Trot STL is hosting a virtual race for anyone who wants to get some exercise in before eating too many calories to count.

Participants can compete in the Turkey Trot from anywhere and anytime November 25 to 29. Registration ends November 29.

Turkey Trot STL will still give out awards for this year's top finishers. All participants have to do to be eligible to win is use a tracking device while running, screenshot their time and submit it to the race's website. Participants can even re-submit and update their time if they beat it.

This year's prize takes on a unique look in the most 2020 way possible. Winners will receive the usual colorful turkey decoration, but this time with a face mask drooped over its mouth.

The virtual race is expected to have about 1,600 participants, according to Director of Fleet Feet Events Jules McCormick. The expected turnout is a stark contrast to 2019's 12,000 people between four area locations.

Pandemic or not, McCormick says it is important to have the Turkey Trot in some capacity. The race has become not only a St. Louis tradition but an avenue for fundraising for local businesses and charities.

"It really is helping people in your community through these tough times," McCormick says. "It's helping people have meals for Thanksgiving."

Turkey Trot STL supports Food Outreach and Oasis Food Pantry through a canned food drive. Anyone who wants to contribute can drop off items at any of Fleet Feet's St. Louis running shops through the end of the month.

The St. Charles location will still host an in-person race this year. The event, which was capped at 500 people, is already full. McCormick says there will be COVID-19 protocols in place such as mandatory masks for everyone, including runners before and after the race; spaced out observation areas and additional sanitation and hand washing areas.

The Turkey Trot has spread across the country since it began in 2014. Last year there were participants from 48 states. She says she expects this year to have runners from as many as 30 states.

Registration for the Turkey Trot virtual race is $26. Anyone who donates canned food to a Fleet Feet St. Louis location can receive a discount. 
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