The annual Newark Turkey Day Race will start at 9 a.m. on Nov. 23 at Alex Eligh Community Center, 303 East Ave., Newark.
Wayne County Dairy Princess Natalie Vernon will fire the starting gun before passing out chocolate milk to the runners. Prizes will go out at 11:30 a.m.
Organizers decided to return to the traditional 5-mile course after converting the race to a 5K in 2016, making it one of the more challenging races in the region.
“We got a lot of feedback last year that the 5-mile course was missed, so we are hoping to see a lot of familiar faces back this year,” said Andy Correia, race co-director. “It’s always a great time.”
This year’s race will feature technological improvements.
“This year, we have added online registration and chip timing,” said Jim Vandemortel, race co-director and president of Newark Cross Country Booster Club. “This will help us improve accuracy and get the results ready faster, so folks can head off to their family dinners sooner.”
Organizers are looking forward to the support of volunteers and donations from local community businesses, both for prizes and after-race refreshments.
The race serves as the main fundraiser for Newark Cross Country Booster Club. The club annually sends the boys and girls varsity and modified teams to a large national meet.
This year, the full squad went to a meet at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. Head coach Joe Contario took the team on historical tours in Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, giving students an educational experience while competing against some of the country’s top runners.
“I think it is very important for our Newark kids to get out and see the world, to get a chance to compete against the best and learn something while they do it,” Contario said. “Our booster club is able to make this all possible with the help of the community, and all the members of our extended running family who come back for the Turkey Day race every year.”
The first 150 to register are guaranteed a T-shirt. The race costs $25 in advance, $20 for high school student-athletes and $30 at the event. Registration starts at 8 a.m.
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