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As Many As 8,000 Runners Will Descend on Elmhurst for the 29th Annual Turkey Trot

Beautiful weather in store.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with that comes one of the most popular events in the entire Chicago area: The Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot.

More than 7,500 people flocked to Elmhurst last year for the 5-K (3.1 mile) run, and the number of participants increases every year. Event organizers say participants hail from all over the United States, as well as Canada and Europe.

If you're thinking of staying home to save your energy for the big feast, rest assured. You'll be home before the turkey is out of the oven—even if you walk the route (which many do).

The race begins, 9 a.m. Nov. 22 at the corner of York and South streets. (See attached route.) The Lima Lima Flight Team is scheduled to do a fly-over, weather permitting, at 8:50 a.m. The event will help raise money for seven organizations that help feed the hungry.

“In a continued effort to respond to a growing need in our own community, we have decided that, once again, all proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit organizations operating in and feeding those in DuPage County,” Dan Gibbons said.  “In fact, we have decided to expand our impact by increasing the number of organizations that will receive funding from Turkey Trot proceeds."

Proceeds will go to:

  • West Suburban Community Pantry
  • DuPage Senior Citizens Council
  • People's Resource Center
  • Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry
  • United Community Concerns Association
  • DuPage PADS
  • Elmhurst Walk-in Ministry
  • Elmhurst/Yorkfield Food Pantry

“Unfortunately, hunger is a persistant and growing problem in our own community. It’s affecting our neighbors, the senior down the block, maybe even a family member," Gibbons said. "We are grateful that through the generosity of others, the Turkey Trot provides a critical infusion of cash to organizations that feed the hungry."  

Participants who register by Saturday, Nov. 17, pay $30, a $5 savings compared to the signup cost on the day of the event. It’s easy to register on-line, or visit the Koenig & Strey Real Estate office at 540 S. York St. this Saturday between 2 and 6 p.m. Race day registration is from 6:30 to 8:55 a.m Nov. 22 at the registration tent in the US Bank parking lot, 540 S. York St.

A shuttle bus will be provided on race day from York High School, 355 W. St. Charles Road, and from Visitation Church, 779 S. York.

Race Day Schedule:

  • 6:30 Tent opens for registration and online/mail-in T-Shirt pickup
  • 6:45 York Road closes
  • 7:00 Shuttle buses begin delivering runners to starting line
  • 8:50 Lima Lima Flight Team
 call to post
, patriotic medley
  • 9:00 Race begins
  • 10:10 Awards in tent, Trotwear sales, refreshements
  • 11:00 York Road re-opens
  • 11:55 Shuttle bus final trip

Photo Contest

Upload your photos on the Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot Facebook page for a chance to win a prize. The three categories are best child photo, best group/family photo and best costume photo. The winner of each category will win two free entries to the 2013 Turkey Trot. Deadline to upload photos is Sunday, Nov. 25. Contest judges will announce the winners on Facebook Tuesday, Nov. 27.

A Little Bit of History

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 7,000 and the race has raised millions of dollars.

Oh, what one little idea can lead to.

Life.Is.Good November 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Thanks Dan! This is an amazing way to give back to our communities. It is truly a wonderful way to start the day. Happy Thanksgiving!
Jim Court November 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM
This can only be good for Elmhurst. Every one of us should strive to publicize to others, the good things that exist within our community. I see many new homes being built which is a very positive sign and says much good about our community. We should strive to be our best and to continuously seek to improve every aspect of our community. I would love to see us become a world class city by every measure.
Karen Chadra (Editor) November 23, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Agreed! Welcome back, Jim Court. We missed you. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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