You've heard about it. You've seen them run past your house on Thanksgiving morning and thought, "It's cold out. I'm going to rest up and conserve the energy I'll need later for digestion. I mean, who the heck gets up early and runs on Thanksgiving Day?"
Well, only like about 6,000 PEOPLE!
Organizers of the 28th annual , the granddaddy of all Turkey Trots, are inviting you to get off the couch Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24, and help raise money to feed the hungry. You don't even have to run; you can walk, meander, jog or amble. And, you can get a cool shirt or other Trot Wear.
For the first time, the Turkey Trot will through Elmhurst to accommodate more participants and provide runners and walkers a different view of the city.
The 3.1-mile course will begin at York and South streets, but this year it will go north on York, circle around Elmhurst College, head south on Cottage Hill Avenue then back onto York Street, ending where it started. Start time is 9 a.m.
So, Who is This Dan Gibbons?
The race has humble beginnings. Back in the early 1980s, Dan Gibbons was a volunteer elementary school coach in Elmhurst. He and a group of his coach friends brainstormed the fund-raising event, and in 1984, the Turkey Trot was born.
"74 hearty runners and walkers, all friends of Dan Gibbons, assembled along the Illinois Prairie Path … with hand-made numbers and an ancient stop watch. The event raised a little more than $500," according to the race website.
The next year, there were 232 runners, then 407. Today, it's more than 6,000 and the race has raised $2 million. Oh, what one little idea can lead to.
Who is Dan Gibbons? He is just a guy, who had an idea and took some steps.
Hunger is Knocking on Your Door
While nearly every family has felt the pinch of the economic downturn, those with little to begin with have been squeezed the hardest. In response to a growing need locally, for the first time all proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit organizations operating and feeding the hungry in DuPage County, said Gibbons.
“Make no mistake. Hunger is not a distant problem. It’s affecting our neighbors, the senior down the block, maybe even a family member, and the need continues to grow," Gibbons said. "Events like this provide a critical infusion of cash to organizations that feed the hungry."
Proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit United Community Concerns Association, DuPage PADS, People’s Resource Center, West Suburban Community Pantry, Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry and Catholic Charities of DuPage County.
Participants who register by Saturday, Nov. 19, pay $25. After that, it's $30. Register on-line, or in person from 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at , 540 S. York Street in Elmhurst. Race day registration is from 6:30 to 8:55 a.m. Nov. 24 at the registration tent in the parking lot, 540 S. York.
Here's all the info in a nutshell:
- 6:30 — Tent opens for race day registration and online/mail-in T-shirt pickup
- 6:45 — York Road closes
- 7:00 — Shuttle buses begin from l and
- 8:50 — Lima Lima Flight Team, call to post, patriotic medley
- 9:00 — Race starts at York and South Street
- 10:10 — Awards in tent, Trotwear sales, refreshments
- 11:00 — York Road re-opens
- 11:55 — Shuttle bus final trip
Last year’s event drew more than 6,300 participants; don't be surprised if you see a few Limeys or Canucks. (That's British or Canadians. Yep, participants do come from that far away.)
And remember, something of this magnitude doesn't happen all by itself. There is a committee that heads up the Trot and a group of more than 200 volunteers who help pull it off, so if you see one, be sure to say thanks.