KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Runners are preparing to speed through downtown Knoxville, making room for turkey, stuffing and all kinds of Thanksgiving food.
The Knoxville Turkey Trot 5K and the Little Gobbler Kids Run will kick off around 8 a.m. Kids will be the first to run Thanksgiving morning before their parents line up for the full 5K. That race will start at 8:30 a.m. from the Mill and Mine near the Old City.
It will take runners through the downtown area, starting west on Depot Street before taking a left onto Gay Street followed by another right on Cumberland Avenue. Then runners will turn left onto Walnut Street before turning right onto Main Street, running past the City-Council Building and other Knoxville landmarks.
Finally, they will turn left on Blount Avenue and turn left again back onto Gay Street. They will take another left onto Main Street, another right onto Walnut Street, right on Cumberland Avenue, a left on Gay Street before making another right onto Depot Street and finishing back at the Mill and Mine.
Runners should pick up their packets on Wednesday from the Mill and Mine, between 3:30 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. They can also pick up their packets on Thanksgiving, from 6:30 a.m. through 7:45 a.m.
Awards will be given to the top three racers, the top racers above 40 years old, with additional awards for runners at least 50 years old and 60 years old.
There will also be a best overall Clydesdale award for men over 200 pounds, and an overall Athena for women over 150 pounds. To be eligible for Grand Prix awards, runners must be a member of the Knoxville Track Club.
Bibs will also be given to runners, so they can wear them while enjoying a Thanksgiving meal later in the day.
"I'm thankful that we can be here this year because last year, we couldn't," said Iris Esch-Williams, a participant in the run. "This is our annual Thanksgiving tradition and we love doing this. It's feeling a little more information. It's not 100% normal, but a lot more normal."
Anyone who wants to participate in the run should sign up online. Temperatures are expected to drop to the lower 30s Thanksgiving morning, so runners should bundle up before taking to the streets!