For about nine weeks, a group of East Texans has met up and run through local parks and neighborhoods in preparation for a guilt-free Thanksgiving.
Couch to 5K programs regularly bring together runners looking to prepare for their next big races with the help and encouragement of others.
In preparation for the 14th Annual Tyler Turkey Trot, runners have enjoyed participating in a Couch to 5K program designed especially for the run.
"I've noticed that running with a group instead of running by myself, I've made a lot more progress," said Casey Phillips, a Couch to 5K Turkey Trot Training Program participant from Tyler. "I've made more progress. I've made some friends, and I think it's been a lot better experience than if I was trying to do it by myself."
Ms. Phillips is expected to be among the many other East Texans who will participate in the 14th Annual Tyler Turkey Trot, which takes place Thanksgiving Day. The event will start with runners checking in and meeting at Racquet & Jog, 5403 S. Broadway Ave.
The goal of the 5K is to bring families together for fun, fitness and charity. For many participants, it also provides them with a little bit more leeway to enjoy decadent Thanksgiving meals.
"People do it under the idea that you run a little bit, get a little work out in, you can eat a little bit more turkey," said Zibeon Serrato, who has helped runners in the Couch to 5K Turkey Trot Training Program prepare for the event. "A lot of people do it more for fun than for competition. It's a big family event."
He also has advice for those who plan to take part in the 5K on Thursday.
"Have fun," he said. "Don't get too aggressive with it."
IF YOU GO:
The 14th Annual Tyler Turkey Trot will take place on Thanksgiving and will start with runners checking in and meeting at Racquet & Jog, 5403 S. Broadway Ave.
The 5k starts with a Kid's Dash at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., the 5K run/walk begins. Awards will be presented at 10 a.m. for each division.
For preregistration, or for more information, you can go to www.tylerturkerytrot.com. The cost to register online is $35 per person. Race day registration can be done from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the race site for $40. Group registration is available and there is a $5 discount per person for groups of 5. Participants will each get a free T-shirt.
The race route starts facing Old Bullard Road and runners will travel through Rieck Road, Hollytree Drive, Wimbledon Drive, Plantation Drive, Spring Branch Drive and Rice Road.
Participants may park in surrounding parking lots of businesses that are closed. Organizers said the best places to park will be near Best Buy, Lowes and Marshall's and crosswalks can be used to get to Racquet & Jog.