Trot, then turkey on Thursday | SteamboatToday.com

Trot, then turkey on Thursday

Runners will again hit the road on Thursday before they settle in for Thanksgiving dinner as the Turkey Trot returns to Steamboat Springs at 9 a.m. Thursday.

If, on Thursday, you were to see a giant, dancing turkey, it could mean a lot of things.

It could mean there are consequences to staying up all night to clean the house ahead of the family's arrival. It could mean maybe you need to excuse yourself from the festivities and log a few laps at Steamboat Ski Area. It could mean that bird got a bit too thawed out.

But if you run past a giant, dancing turkey on the side of the road Thursday morning, it can only mean one thing: You've run too far.

The annual Turkey Trot will return at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, offering a shorter course meant to give families a great way to stretch their legs before the big meal.

The out-and-back course will start at Steamboat Springs High School and flow into Strawberry Park, where an enthusiastic volunteer in a turkey costume will make it abundantly clear where to turn around.

"I think it's going to be easy to spot," race director Erik Ramstad said with a chuckle.

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For the second consecutive year, the race will serve both as an effort to gather food donations and as a fundraiser for Steamboat Springs High School's cross country and track and field teams, which Ramstad coaches.

He said last year's Trot was a success, but in an effort to make the event even more appealing to a wider variety of runners, this year's race will be shorter, down more than a mile from 4.6 miles to 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles.

The course will run up and out Amethyst Drive, past the Strawberry Park schools complex to the intersection with Strawberry Park Road, where the turkey will direct racers back into town to the high school.

"It's a little more family friendly this way," Ramstad said. "We wanted to get people excited about coming out and doing a quick little race before skiing and Thanksgiving turkey. This is a great way to get out Thanksgiving morning."

Early registration for the race is available at steamboatturkeytrot.com and costs $15 for those older than 18, $10 for runners between 13 and 18 and $5 for those 12 and younger. Day-of registration will also be available starting at 8 a.m. It will cost $20 for adults and $10 for those 18 and younger.

"We're excited," Ramstad said. "It's going to be so much fun."

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

Turkey Trot

What: 5-kilometer race

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Starting and ending at Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple Street

Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for 13-18, $5 for 12 and younger

Sign up: Pre-register at http://www.SteamboatTurkeyTrot.com, or sign-up onsite starting at 8 a.m.