Our staff was very passionate about finding a way to make this year’s Turkey Trot one to remember – not just because of the pandemic, but because of the excitement of 40 years together.Brittani Sotzen, Communications & Marketing Manager
The 40th anniversary of Palatine Park District’s Turkey Trot 2-Mile and 5-Mile Run will be held virtually, beginning on Thursday, November 26. As hard as it is to believe, the holiday season is right around the corner – which means the District’s annual Turkey Trot Race, which normally brings nearly 2,000 people together on Thanksgiving Morning, is quickly approaching as well. Due to the complications of the pandemic and risks associated with gathering in large groups, the District has decided to host this event virtually.
To celebrate this commemorative year, racers will have 40 hours to complete either distance, beginning at 6:00 AM on Thursday, November 26 and ending on Friday, November 27. It does not go unnoticed that this event is not just a part of the District’s history, but also our devoted runners. This family tradition has been shared amongst the many. Early morning routines have always started with the annual Turkey Trot for families like the Krueger’s, “[My family] has been running in the Turkey Trot every year, for almost 20 years,” said Abby Krueger, a long-time Palatine Resident. “Thanksgiving celebrations officially begin once we head out the door towards the starting line. Whether it is 30 degrees and snowing, or 70 degrees and sunny!”
The District created a committee of staff members, back in July, to prepare for multiple race-day scenarios. “Our staff was very passionate about finding a way to make this year’s Turkey Trot one to remember – not just because of the pandemic, but because of the excitement of 40 years together” said, Brittani Sotzen, Communications & Marketing Manager of the District. 2020’s Turkey Trot will feature a new logo, a die-cut premium medal, a ruby red TEK shirt and the option to purchase an additional upgrade item! “Even though we can’t host a traditional race with a start line, [the District] wants the 40th Anniversary Turkey Trot to be as memorable as the previous 39 races,” said Sotzen.
The District will publish a few suggested routes for participants to utilize, but also wants to encourage that racers go out and explore Palatine! While not mandatory, if racers would like to be competitive, they must submit their GPS tracked workout via a submission form on the District’s Mobile App. The top three male and female finishers will earn a place-ranked medal.
All participants will have an opportunity to pick-up their race day swag, prior to Thanksgiving Day. Each participant will receive a finisher’s medal and a long-sleeve TEK shirt. In addition, the first 200 people to register will get a Turkey Trot Running Gaiter for free!
The initial response to the complex race day changes has been overwhelmingly positive. Executive Director, Mike Clark said, “[I’m] proud of our community who has accepted and adapted to our new way of operating and greatly appreciate their support and patience. [Leadership] is determined to get on the other side of this and welcome back our dedicated park district staff, volunteers and participants.” With over 150 registrants already signed up, the District is thrilled that race day is quickly approaching.
To register for Palatine Park District’s Turkey Trot 2-mile or 5-mile race, please visit palatineparks.org. Registration is $25 per person and there is an available upgrade item (a Turkey Trot branded blanket) for $16 that can be added to any registration.