Sign up now for the 13th annual Pima Turkey Trot

5K and 1-mile fun run

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – Before Thanksgiving revelers fill their bellies, make some room for the tasty fixings but participating in the 13th annual Pima Turkey Trot.

The event takes place Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, and begins with a 1-mile Fun Run at 8 a.m. at the Pima Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena, followed by the 5K at 8:45 a.m.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Stephanie Hoopes gets ready to race in her turkey mascot outfit during the 10th annual Pima Turkey Trot.

The Trot has become a family tradition to numerous people in the Gila Valley and brings in extended family and friends from outside of the area as well. The annual event began in 2006 when race co-directors Melinda Nelson and Cody Marshall thought a 5K on Thanksgiving would be a good way to rationalize eating a feast later in the day. Last year, the Trot boasted 786 participants in the annual 5K and 1-mile fun run.

The overall male and female winners are awarded $50 and a medal, while medals are also given to the top three finishers in each age category, male and female. There are also various raffle drawings and prizes donated by the race’s various sponsors. 

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Runners line up at the start during the 11th annual Turkey Trot.

It’s not all about who finishes first, however, and groups of families join in on the fun to run with each other and see extended family. The family with the most participants is also rewarded with a turkey. Nelson said she loves to see the evolution of the number of people in a family participating from the start of just one member who perhaps likes to run going the first year, to the entire family joining in during subsequent years.

“You wouldn’t think taking home a frozen turkey would be that exciting, but people get pretty excited about being the biggest family there, so we like to see that,” Nelson previously said.   

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: This turkey is no pushover during the 11th annual Turkey Trot.

Registration is only available online here and is just $10 until Nov. 13, after which registration will be $15 through race day, so get in early to save some dough. Early packet pickup will be Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the Pima Activity Center (large metal building before Edd Hubbard Field on 100 East and U.S. Highway 70) from 3 – 7 p.m. 

All the proceeds from the event are donated to Pima Schools and throughout its history, the event has donated more than $60,000. 

What: Pima Turkey Trot

Where: Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena

When: Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 22

Time: 8 a.m. – 1-mile Fun Run; 8:45 a.m. – 5K

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