Fifth Third Turkey Trot 2009
by Doug Kurtis, Nov. 13, 2009
Fifth Third Turkey Trot 2009
More than twelve thousand runners and walkers are expected to participate in Detroit’s 27th Fifth Third Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The field has grown one hundred percent over the past four years due in part to its connection to America’s Thanksgiving Parade, produced by the Parade Company.
Costumes: Each year the event has more of the look and feel of being part of the parade. The Parade theme is “Together We Shine” which also holds true for the Fifth Third Turkey Trot. Its billing is known as the “The parade before the parade”. Costumed runners have always been a part of the event and organizers continue to encourage runners to wear costumes. Prizes are awarded for best overall, team, float and caterpillar divisions. Bring your costumed dogs for a doggie treat. Registration: Registration will be more convenient. From November 7th to the 21st, at six locations in the Detroit Metropolitan area and Lansing, runners (also pre-registered runners) can register and/or pick up their bib numbers, timing tag and technical shirts. Two New Balance stores (the official running store of the Fifth Third Turkey Trot), three strategically located Fifth Third Banks and the Grosse Pointe Hansons store locations and hours can be found on The Parade Company / Turkey Trot web site: www.theparade.org/turkeytrot.
When registering, either on-line or on hard copy entry forms, runners can add a few dollars to help support The Parade Company and Special Olympics. On race day, runners are encouraged to bring a can of food which Gleaners will then distribute to appropriate outlets in the Detroit area.
As turkey trotters enter the registration room at Cobo Center on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, they will be greeted by a colorful display of parade props. Kids will get a kick out of the inflatable turkeys as well as a few papier mache big heads.
Dinner Party and Hotel: Participants can sign up for the pre race dinner and party in the Marriott Renaissance Center’s beautiful 42 degrees restaurant from 4pm to 8pm for only $12. Red Simmons will be the featured guest. They can also rent a room at the hotel at the special rate of $89 with a portion going back to The Parade Company to support America’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Parking: To relieve some of the traffic congestion on race day, runners can pay for parking in advance at four locations for only $5. Although, The Cobo roof and garage are already filled, there is plenty of parking at the Joe Louis and Garage with easy access in and out. The Lodge Freeway (M10) will be the main access road to these locations. Taking Rosa Parks from I75 is another alternative if you’re running late.
Technical Shirts: Last year’s stylish technical shirts were a big hit. This year’s design will feature an all black shirt with colored panels down the sides (Purple panels for the women’s cut and red for the men’s). Registrants can speed up their registration process by dropping them off at the baggage claim area before the start of the race.
The Course: There are several exciting new things taking place on the course. New giant inflatables will be set up to provide greater visibility at the start, turn-arounds and the split between the Fifth Third Turkey Trot 10km and S3 Stuffing Strut 5km (S3 is the new title sponsor Strategic Staffing Solutions).
Look for the papier mache big heads to count down the last few minutes before the start. Out on the course, runners will be treated to Christmas cookie and candy cane stations as well as a number of Christmas caroler stations.
This year’s course has been modified to accommodate the Parade volunteers and Detroit Lions tailgating traffic. Like the 5km, the 10km includes the Parade route and it will add miles on Michigan Avenue toward the old train station as well as along a portion of the riverfront.
Race Day: Last year’s new timing tags have become the industry standard. Runners need to make sure they are taped and tucked under their shoe laces. After they cross the finish line they can walk back into Cobo.
Last year’s food court will be replaced by long continuous tables of fun food. You can smell the Detroit Popcorn Company’s poppers when you walk into the Michigan room. Runners will also find Snyder’s pretzels and an assortment of fresh bagels and bananas.
The Fifth Third Turkey Trot kicks off Thursday Thanksgiving morning at 7:15am with a celebrity judged costume contest inside Cobo Center’s Michigan room. Fifth Third Bank Vice President Jack Riley will be the master of ceremonies.
The Mashed Potato Mile presented by Foresters begins at 7:30am. The kids will start on Washington Avenue in front of Cobo Center and circle the waterfront behind Cobo and the Joe Louis Arena. Just look for the big inflatable clown.
5km walkers will be encouraged to start together on the east side of Woodward, immediately following the runners. All of the participants will be making their way along the parade route in front of the largest spectator crowd of any race in Michigan.
The top 100 men and women will receive a pair of fleece gloves to match past years scarves and hats. After runners cross the finish line, some will be racing back to Woodward to catch the Parade in the designated runner grandstand seats.
If you are interested in more information, please click on the Frequently Asked Questions tab on the front page of the race website: www.theparade.org/turkeytrot or call 313 237-3149.