If the Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot doesn’t surpass 10,000 participants, that’ll be just fine with co-race director Margaret Hurley.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “We’re hoping for right around 9,000. One year we had over 10,000, so this is not the record. We feel 10,000 is an upper limit. We’re OK not getting there again. We can only accommodate so many people on the streets.”
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The annual 5-mile run that turns downtown Miamisburg into organized chaos from its 8:30 a.m. start until about noon on Thanksgiving morning has become a tradition for many area runners and their families. This is the 40th year for the race and coincides with the 200-year anniversary of the founding of Miamisburg, which the city celebrated this past summer.
Pre-registration has topped 8,500. Hurley said she expects another 500 to sign up during Wednesday’s race expo in downtown Miamisburg from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no race-day registration.
The out-and-back course usually draws about 200 “serious” runners, Hurley said, who gravitate toward the front for the race start. Many others are dressed in costumes, ranging from turkeys to “Flipper Man,” who preferred swim fins over running shoes.
There also is a 1-mile “fun run” for children and other family members who still want to participate, but not for five miles. That will start immediately after the 5-miler.
The ORRRC has a long history of sponsoring area races since 1966. It’s active membership is 3,000-plus and a bargain for non-members, usually $2-9 per event.
A non-profit organization, the ORRRC Turkey Trot is its main fund-raiser. The splash and dash series, half/full marathon, Lou Cox 5K and Ghost n Goblins 5K are other signature club races. In all, the ORRRC annually holds 40 running events.
“It’s the biggest race for the club,” Hurley said. “Most of them are much smaller than this, obviously. We use this to sponsor our mission of trying to get people out running and give them all kinds of opportunities throughout the year that are affordable.”
The Dayton Turkey Trot is a separate half-marathon and 5K that will begin and end at Welcome Stadium on Sunday. In its forth year at Dayton, it’s part of the American Turkey Tradition, which bills itself as a “multi-city running festival.”
Both those races go along the Great Miami River running and walking paths. The American Turkey Tradition also will sponsor the Youngstown Turkey Trot 5K on Thursday and the Columbus Hungry Turkey 5K and 10K, and Cincinnati half-marathon and 5K on Saturday.
“It doesn’t really compete with us, but it causes a little confusion because they use the same name,” Hurley said. “All races around Thanksgiving are successful.”