DETROIT (WWJ) – Runners will lace ’em up for the annual Fifth Third Bank Turkey Trot 10-K Run on Thanksgiving morning in downtown Detroit, along with a 5-K and the Mashed Potato Mile.

Race director Doug Kurtis said the race has become the “parade before the parade.”

“Obviously we have some elite runners that come in and want to race hard, but on the other end what we are seeing is families and friends that are running together. So, rather that just go and run the race, they want to run it together. So you see Santa with all his reindeer and elves or things like that,” said Kurtis.

Runners are encouraged to dress creatively and there’s a costume contest before the run. For those who think wearing a costume will slow them down, Kurtis notes that one of last year’s winners was dressed like a cupcake.

“Last year we had a giant picnic basket surrounded by characters, but yeah, there was somebody inside steering and then they had big, long poles sticking out of the picnic basket and they would push that basket along through the race. This year, Strategic Staffing Solutions is actually going to have a little race car with a dog and cat it in and its going to be pulled along the run,” said Kurtis.

Fifth Third Bank senior vice president Jack Riley said 20,000 runners will jam downtown Detroit for the run. And, next year they’re counting on having a special guest in the crowd — the lucky person just doesn’t know it yet.

“Next year is the 30th and we’re saving Governor Snyder for next year. He’s hearing it now for the first time, so we’re going to invite him,” said Riley.

For more information on the Turkey Trot, visit


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