This Thanksgiving, Whistlerites will have a new activity they can add to the list of holiday traditions.
The Whistler Turkey Trot, presented by Smartwool, is being launched this year by the organizers of the Whistler Half Marathon.
The idea to hold a holiday run in Whistler was spurred by the tradition's popularity south of the border—as well as from the concept of exercise before feasting, explained event founder Dave Clark.
The new event "is one that our team has been talking about for awhile," Clark said. "It sort of seemed like it would be a good fit for Whistler, with it being Turkey Sale weekend, and the whole Thanksgiving theme, and looking at how big the turkey trots are in the United States and certainly the (Granville Island Turkey Trot) in Vancouver.
"We thought maybe there's an opportunity here to get people out running and reminding them to be thankful and get them out in nature on a weekend when we typically overeat and overindulge, and sometimes overspend at the Turkey Sale. This is a maybe a little healthier addition to the weekend."
The Sunday morning event, scheduled for Oct. 7, will offer two distances: The Drumstick Dash five-kilometre, and The Gravy Burner 10-km.
"It's manageable for most people; you can walk them if you want to without being out all day, you can get families involved and that was really a big thing for us, was how do we make it family friendly?" Clark said.
Runners will cross both the start and finish lines at the Lost Lake Passive Haus. The courses are set to follow the gravel paths and trails surrounding the lake, including some of the singletrack along the Tin Pants trail network.
The response to the new event has been "remarkable," Clark said, meaning those interested should consider registering right away: As of Monday afternoon, 120 runners were registered to take part in the Trot, with space set to be capped at 150 between the two distances.
The Turkey Trot will also continue the organizers' support of Crohn's and Colitis Canada and the research that they fund, with proceeds raised from the event going towards the charity.
Participants will have chances to win door prizes and access to post event snacks, while presenting partner Smartwool will be on hand to swap run and ski socks for donations in support of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. While the timed fun run won't offer prizing for top finishers, all athletes who complete their chosen distance will receive a finisher's medal—"We're kind of keeping (the medals' design) a secret for now, but I think people will really like them," Clark said with a laugh.
Pre-registration is available online at whistlerturkeytrot.com. Youth pricing is also available for athletes under the age of 18.