Annual Turkey Trot 5K set to be renewed in Cocoa Beach on Thanksgiving morning

cocoa beach turkey trot

An annual tradition will be renewed on Thanksgiving morning as the Cocoa Beach Turkey Trot 5K will be held with the start and finish of the race at Bailiwick Mall, located at 20 N. Brevard Ave.

Per the race’s website, the 5K run/walk begins at 8 a.m., and “Little Gobbler Fun Runs” begins at 9:30 a.m.

According to race director Marlene White, the event, which is over two decades old, was held last year both in-person and virtually, but this year’s event looks to have a greater feeling of normality to it.

“After last year, we’re looking forward to getting back to semi-normal, the way races were. Right now, we’re on target to have the same number of participants that we had pre-COVID in 2019. We’ve got a slightly different course which is also going to be nice because it makes it easier for us logistically, but it’s also nicer for the participants and the neighborhood, more of the streets in the neighborhood are going to be on the route,” Ms. White said.

All proceeds from the event benefit students at Cocoa Beach High School, Ms. White noted. In particular, the proceeds will support the CBHS cross country and track programs, scholarships for high school seniors, and ongoing maintenance for the school’s soon-to-be-completed new track.

The Turkey Trot 5K is the first of two events in the area: Thanksgiving weekend mainstays, with the Cocoa Beach Art Show, held in downtown Cocoa Beach on Minutemen Causeway later in the weekend.

“I get emails all the time that ‘oh this is our family tradition, we’re looking forward to it, we can’t wait to come out so many of them are doing both the race on Thursday, and then they show up for the art show, and it’s just great for the entire community,” Ms. White said. “It’s something that brings the entire community together.”

The cost to register for the race and receive a shirt from now through Nov. 25 is $30, with the price to register for the race without a shirt at $25 until Nov. 25 and $30 on the day of the race.

Additionally, a “turkey team” of four can register for $120, though registration closes for that on Nov. 23. The team must keep a 12 lb. turkey with them throughout the run supplied to them by race organizers that they also get to keep at the end of the race.

Additionally, all finishers will receive a commemorative medal, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the overall and masters categories for both males and females. Door prizes and post-race refreshments will also be available.

Those interested can also sign up for “Race anywhere” and “race the course” virtual options.

Packets can be picked up on the day of the race from 6:30 a.m. -7:50 a.m. on the day of the race or Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 4-8 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 2-6 p.m. at the Cocoa Beach Recreation Center at 321 Camp Rd. in Cocoa Beach.

Those interested in more information should visit cocoabeachturkeytrot.com.

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