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Run like a turkey at annual pre-meal race

Special to The Miami Herald

South Floridians will have an opportunity to burn calories before stuffing themselves with pumpkin pie, sweet potato and turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

The eighth annual Turkey Trot 5k/10k run or walk will take place at 7:15 a.m. at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Nov. 24. Registration starts at 6 a.m.

Participants can either run or walk. Registration is $25 for the 5k or $30 for the 10k before the run. The registration fee increases by $5 the day of the event.

The first 4,000 registered race participants will receive a commemorative Turkey Trot T-shirt.

Frankie Ruiz, co-founder of the ING Miami Marathon, said the run reminds people of the importance of a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season.

“It’s a good way to start your long weekend in a healthy matter so you won’t feel guilty eating at night,” he said. “It’s a good reminder to balance out your parties with some exercise.”

The course runs through the entire park and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. Several training groups and run clubs use the Turkey trot as a stepping stone for upcoming major races. The run/walk will start outside Tropical Stadium and conclude inside, where there will be music playing.

The race is put together by U.S. roads sports and entertainment.

“Like many other cities, it’s a tradition for families to bring everyone and go out and run on a nice morning,” he said. “Everyone sticks around after for the photos and watch the kids race.”

Soon after the event, there will be bagels, fruit and juice provided by Publix.

Ruiz added that the run prepares shoppers for the retail sprint.

“It also warms people up for the running around they’ll be doing on black Friday,” Ruiz said.

Children can also compete in a race after the adults finish. Ages of competition are from 2 to 9 years old. Registered children 2 to 9 will receive a child’s size T-shirt and finisher medal.

Runners and walkers are encouraged to bring canned goods to a food drive. All donations will

be given to those in need for their Thanksgiving meal.

To register, visit www.miamiturkeytrot.com.

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