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The Turkey Trot Race Courses

One of the most fun things about Turkey Trot is “catch up” time. No, I am not referring to catching the runner ahead of you; I am referring to seeing friends you have not seen for a long time.  One of the reasons that happens is because we bring a lot of people together and start three races at the same time. That is a tradition that is becoming harder to maintain as the crowd grows.  However, for at least one more year there will be no changes to any of the courses.  It is important however that participants be aware and alert on Thanksgiving Day.  Read these directions carefully ahead of time if you will.

Once again, the runners in the 5K, 10K and 15K will start at 8:30 on Esplanade Way. They will be chipped timed and can elect which race they are running out on the course.    The One Mile Turkey Gobbler will start at 8:00.  We recommend running the courses ahead of time if you can.

The Start

The starting line for the 5/10/15K remains on Esplanade Way.  A timing mat will be placed at the start line so that no matter where you start or when you cross the start line: your chip time will not begin until you reach the starting line.  Runners should line up based on the race pace they expect to run.  Those expecting to run 6 minutes or faster should be in the first section.  Those who plan to walk or run slower than a 10 minute pace and those who plan to push a stroller should start near the back.  The rest should be in the middle.  A guide post will identify each area.  Patience is important and appreciated.  After all, it’s Thanksgiving!

The Beginning

All three races will run the same route for two miles.  Runners will proceed south on Esplanade Way until they reach Shumard Oak Boulevard (less than a quarter mile).  At Shumard Oak, everyone will turn left and head east.  Runners can run on EITHER side of the median on Shumard Oak.  In fact, it is important that runners do use both sides of Shumard Oaks for the first 15 minutes to reduce and avoid crowd backlogs. If you arrive at the corner of Esplanade and Shumard Oak after 15 minutes have passed, then we ask you to run on the left side of Shumard Oak. The distance is virtually the same on both sides. We also ask that you watch for runners crossing Shumard Oak coming from Bald Cypress. These runners are 10 or 15K runners who have already run 3 plus miles.  Please yield the right of way to them. Once on Shumard Oak runners should stay the course (continue across Four Oaks) until you hit the “T” at Grove Park Drive.  Bear right at the “T” and then follow the loop around the lake in a counter clockwise (left) direction.  On this first loop, all runners will stay on Grove Park until they reach Mulberry Park Boulevard.

Just before Mulberry Park, after the water tables at the country club (just past the 2 mile mark), 5K runners will be directed to move to the right side of the road, and 10K and 15K runners will be directed to move to the left side of the road.  Please keep an eye out for the split and move to the correct side.

Runners will continue on Grove Park until the reach Mulberry Park Boulevard.  5K runners will turn sharp right onto Mulberry Park and stay on the right side of the median.  The 10K and 15K runners will also turn right, but they will stay to the left side of the median.  Everyone will stay on Mulberry Park until they reach Four Oaks Boulevard.  Once there, all runners will turn left— 5K runners will stay on the right side of the median and, again, the 10K and 15K runners will stay on the left side as they head up Four Oaks.

At the top of the hill on Four Oaks, all runners will turn right onto Merchants Row Boulevard.  Again, 5K runners will stay to the right side of the road, and 10K and 15K runners will stay on the left side of the road.

The 5K Finish

The 5K runners will continue on Merchants Row all the way to Esplanade Way, staying to the right side of the median.  They turn left onto Esplanade at the end of the median, then run to the finish on the right side of Esplande Way.  Congratulations!  You are a 2017 Turkey Trot 5K FINISHER!

The Second Loop for the 10K and 15K – Starting together

While the 5K runners continue down Merchants Row to Esplanade Way for the finish, the 10K and 15K runners on their first loop (i.e., approaching mile 3) will run down Merchants Row to Bald Cypress Way (two blocks before Esplanade Way) where they turn left and proceed to Shumard Oak Blvd.  On their first loop, 10K and 15K runners should stay as far to the left side of the road as possible, moving toward the middle only to pass other runners.  About three fourths of the way down the road on Bald Cypress, the runners will find the 3 mile mark.

The 15K and 10K runners will continue running together all the way to the end of Bald Cypress, then all the way across Shumard Oak turning left on Shumard Oak and keeping to the right side of the median and running along the curb on the right side of the road.  Be aware as you cross over Shumard as there may be some runners/walkers approaching on their first lap still. You have the right away (not for cars of course), but those runners/walkers may not see you so please exercise care. 10K and 15K runners should continue on Shumard Oak to Four Oaks where they turn right, again keeping to the right side of the road.  Runners should continue all the way to the turnaround just before Tram Road, circle the cone in the middle of the road, and head back on Four Oaks to School House Road.

All 10K and 15K runners will turn right on School House Road and continue to Terrebone Drive.  10K runners will still turn left on Terrebone (as they did in the past) and head for Grove Park.  15K runners, however, will continue straight ahead on School House Road, which will become Biltmore Avenue.

The 10K continues

After turning left onto Terrebone Drive. the 10K runners head for Grove Park and continue for a very short distance before bearing left on Shumard Oak.  They will continue straight ahead toward Four Oaks.  But before they reach Four Oaks, they must turn right on Park Crossing Trail and return to Grove Park.  At Grove Park, they will turn left again and run clockwise around the lake until they reach Ivy Green Trail.

At Ivy Green Trail, 10K runners will turn left and head up the hill to the SouthWood Town Center.  15K runners will be merging on to the course on Ivy Green Trail (from the bike trail around the lake).   Runners will climb until they reach Merchants Row again.  They will turn left on Merchants Row, and this time they will trek down the hill all the way to Esplanade Way.  Runners finishing their second loop should run on the left side of the median, but to the right side of that half of the road.  DO NOT turn on Bald Cypress this time.  Instead, head for Esplanade Way and take a left to cross the finish line. Congratulations 1OK runners!  You are a 2017 10K FINISHER!

The 15K continues

After the 15K runners split from the 10K runners, they continue on School House Road until it becomes Biltmore Avenue, familiar territory for experienced 15K runners.  15K runners should stay on the right side of the road and head north on the RIGHT side of the road until reaching the turnaround point. Runners must circle the cone marking the turnaround and head back south on Biltmore to Hemmingway Boulevard, again staying on the right side of the road.

At Hemmingway Boulevard, runners turn right again, keeping to the right side of the road as they head toward the lake.  Runners will cross Grove Park and head toward the lake on the bike trail (do NOT turn right on Grove Park).  About halfway down, runners bear right on the bike path as they approach the lake and continuing in a counterclockwise direction around the lake.  Runners should follow the markers, which will keep them on the bike path between the lake and Grove Park Drive until they reach two cones blocking their path and arrows pointing them back to Grove Park, which they cross, and then run onto Ivy Green Trail.  At this point, 15K runners will run up Ivy Green Trail, rejoining 10K runners heading for the SouthWood Town Center.  At the top of the hill, all runners turn left on Merchants Row, run through Town Center, and head downhill to the finish on Esplande Way.  15K runners should stay on the right side of the left side of the road on their second loop and must resist the urge to turn left on to Bald Cypress a second time.  Once is enough!  When 15K runners reach Esplanade Way, they will turn left (with the 10K runners) and head for the finish.  Congratulations!  You are a 2017 Turkey Trot 15K FINISHER!