Sign up now for the 17th annual Pima Turkey Trot

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Tom Turkey (Stephanie Hoopes) gets the runners ready for the 1-mile Fun Run, which took place prior to the annual 5K race on Thanksgiving.

Registration increases by $5 on Tuesday

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – It’s nearly time for the 17th annual Pima Turkey Trot. Sign up here now for just $10 to avoid a $5 price increase Tuesday, Nov. 15. Online registrations will be accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald

Before Thanksgiving revelers fill their bellies, be sure to make some room for the tasty fixings by participating in the 17th annual Pima Turkey Trot.

The event takes place on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, 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.

The Trot has become a family tradition for 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’s event drew a record 1,001 registered runners. The event is a fundraiser and the proceeds are donated to Pima Schools for use in some aspect of physical fitness. The race has raised more than $100,000 for that purpose in its lifetime. 

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Reid Peterson, 4, of Pima, finishes the fun run during the 2021 event.

Regulars Jonathan Barney, of Scottsdale, and Paige Morales, of Morenci, were the top male and female finishers last year. Barney set a new race record by just three-tenths of a second and finished in 15:55.44. The former record was set in 2016 by Bailey Roth, a track and field collegian from Atlanta, Georgia, who just missed the cut for the 2016 Olympics in the steeplechase. 

Morales, for her part, has won each Pima Turkey Trot she has entered since 2018. She did not attend the 2020 race.

The event is a family tradition for both Barney and Morales, and Barney’s brother, Michael Barney, won the 2018 race at 16:24.09 with Morales as well. Jonathan took family bragging rights in 2019 by finishing first in 16:01.61, and his sister has also placed in past events. His immediate family visits the Gila Valley from Scottsdale for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

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

“I have a lot of family up here, so I thought I’d do the Turkey Trot while I’m here,” Jonathan said at last year’s event. “I like it. It’s a fun course.”  

In addition to the overall champions, awards are given in male and female categories in various age groups to the top three finishers in each category and age group. After the race, numerous prizes are also given away, including the turkey prize to the family with the most race participants.

So, don’t hesitate and click here to register for the 17th annual Pima Turkey Trot

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: This turkey is no pushover during the 12th annual Turkey Trot.