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Trot on over


Traditions are important. In a world that proves itself more unpredictable each day, traditions can offer a sense of structure. They help bring families together and enable people to reconnect with friends. Best of all, they are avenues for creating new memories with the people in our lives.

Des Moines Turkey Trot will take place Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.

Des Moines Turkey Trot will take place Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.

As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones, consider creating a new tradition full of fun, fitness and friendly competition. This year, why not kick off your turkey day celebration with the Des Moines Turkey Trot?

“We’re brand new in 2015, so officially we’ve been ‘going on’ since the last week of September when we opened registration, but we’ve been working on the event for almost a year,” said Michael Zimmerman, event organizer and director of Rip Roar Events. “We’re over 1,000 (registered participants) and looking like we’ll be closer to 1,500 by Thanksgiving morning, which is nuts.”

The 2015 Des Moines Turkey Trot highlights all that downtown has to offer. Not to be confused with last year’s run by the same name, this year marks the first event organized by Rip Roar Events.

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“From a race-directing standpoint, the route is perhaps the biggest pride point of the event,” Zimmerman said. “The city of Des Moines has been so awesome in working with us to give us the best ‘highlight reel’ tour of downtown.”

Athletes will start their Thanksgiving run with the Des Moines Courthouse as their backdrop in the heart of the Court Avenue District. From there, both 5K and 5-mile runners will make their way across the Des Moines River and through the heart of the East Village. Here a slight incline provides a little challenge for participants who will run past all of the buildings of the capitol complex, including a final pass in front of the State Capitol on Finkbine Avenue before returning back down the hill to the start of the race.

For those who want to take their run a little further, participants going the 5-mile route will finish their holiday “tour” with a scenic jaunt to the Botanical Center before returning across the Women’s Achievement Bridge running down-stream along the west bank of the Des Moines River.

“We’re welcoming all from the Greater Des Moines community for a Pancake Brunch (separate from the athlete meal). The idea is to bring together people of all backgrounds for a meal around the same table,” said Zimmerman.

Athletes have been donating plates to the meal throughout the registration process. At the time of this writing, they’re up to 150 donated plates for the meal. Like the race, Zimmerman has no idea how big or small the gathering will be, but they’re committed to providing for those looking to join. This will take place between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

And don’t forget about the swag.

“Participants can get a racing bib, a beanie cap, a T-shirt (if they registered for one), finisher time and all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast,” Zimmerman said. “Otherwise, hopefully racers will walk away with a whole bunch of ‘warm fuzzies.’ ” CV

2015 Des Moines Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Day, 9 a.m.
Downtown Des Moines
$40 for 5K/5-mile. $10 Tot Trot. Family of four, $140. Family of five, $175.

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