Turkey Trot goes virtual for 2020

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Participants will be able to run or walk their 5K between Nov. 19 and Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, and submit their times online. Courtesy Jessica Iloff

The Grand Rapids Turkey Trot will continue its longstanding tradition this fall despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The 28th annual event, which is sponsored by Blue Care Network of Michigan, will be held virtually. Participants will be able to run or walk their 5K between Nov. 19 and Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, and submit their times online.

“Blue Care Network is excited to continue our relationship with Grand Rapids Public Schools and the Turkey Trot, which has become a great healthy, holiday tradition for so many families,” said Jessica Iloff, manager of community responsibility at Blue Care Network. “Right now, it’s more important than ever for families to get outside and exercise, and this year’s Turkey Trot is a great, safe option for them to do so around the holiday.”

Athletes can sign-up at grps.org/athletics-turkeytrot. Registered runners and walkers will get a downloadable race bib and a race packet in the mail, which will include a T-shirt.

Proceeds from the event will benefit K-12 athletics in the Grand Rapids Public Schools district, offsetting the need to “pay to play” so that all students have the chance to participate. In 2019, more than 4,000 people took part in the Turkey Trot, raising more than $110,000 to support GRPS extracurricular activities.

“The community support we receive every year is vital to our students, and despite the challenges we currently face, it’s important for us to continue to provide opportunities to our students,” said Dr. Leadriane Roby, superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools. “While we would love to see everyone in downtown Grand Rapids on Thanksgiving morning, our No. 1 priority is health and safety, and we’re happy that we will still be able to ‘move our feet before we eat’ through the virtual format.”

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