The record crowd of 260 that ran in last year's Turkey Trot included everything from babies to bikes, skateboards to strollers and more than a few runners. This year's event will begin at 9 a.m. at Steamboat Springs High School and head 4.6 miles into Strawberry Park.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

The record crowd of 260 that ran in last year's Turkey Trot included everything from babies to bikes, skateboards to strollers and more than a few runners. This year's event will begin at 9 a.m. at Steamboat Springs High School and head 4.6 miles into Strawberry Park.

Turkey Trot returns, 5 years strong on Thursday

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— A tinge of jealousy inspired Steamboat Springs’ first Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Day running race in 2009.

“It seems like every town in America has a turkey trot,” organizer Lisa Barbour said at the time, preparing for the inaugural running.

She said she thought a few dozens — maybe even just one dozen — runners may show up on a cold morning in Steamboat that already had one big outdoors event to draw everyone’s attention in the opening of Steamboat Ski Area.

That first year had 80 runners.

Preparing this week for the fifth running, Barbour still has the same cheery approach she brought in 2009, now with more than three times the number of competitors. Last year’s race brought out 260, and thanks in part to the event’s all-comers attitude, organizers expect it to do the same this year.

The fifth annual Turkey Trot will begin at 9 a.m. at Steamboat Springs High School and head 4.6 miles into Strawberry Park for an entirely paved out-and-back route.

“It’s always so fun to see the families come out,” Barbour said. “Everyone has something to do on Thanksgiving morning. I know they can go skiing, but they can come and do this, too. Everyone is always super generous and ready to help out, and it’s just a really fun event.”

The event isn’t just a run, either. It’s open to almost any form of transportation without a motor and past races have included skateboarders, unicyclists, dozens of strollers and just as many dogs.

“We try to make it something for the whole family,” Barbour said.

As the event as grown, so has the impact it has on charity organizations. This year again 100 percent of each racers’ $20 entry fee for adults (children pay their age) will go to support LIFT-UP of Routt County. Nonperishable food donations also are welcome the morning of the event.

Registration will be open online at www.runningseries.com until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Sign-up also will be available at the start/finish line at Steamboat Springs High School starting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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