PIEDMONT -- While Grandma is lacing the turkey, runners will lace their sneakers for the 11th annual Piedmont Turkey Trot, a fun 3K walk/run through the city's picturesque streets.

The event that raises money for Piedmont High's cross-country and track teams has grown every year in popularity.

"We started out with 150 runners the first year, and now we're expecting 1,500 runners this year," said race organizer Marilyn Weber.

The Turkey Trot started as a grass roots idea from a group of parents whose kids were in high school track. Last year, 1,432 runners competed, some to challenge a personal best, others to just burn some calories to make room for the Thanksgiving feast.

Preschoolers to grandparents walk or run the course, including moms pushing strollers and people with their dogs. Strollers and dog walkers have to start at the back, but every entrant is "chip timed." The results are posted on the Turkey Trot website the following day.

There is a prerace distribution of Turkey Trot dry wick T-shirts and bibs (included with race price) from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Piedmont High School, 800 Magnolia Ave. Early registration deadline is Sunday on www.active.com. Participants can get tickets on race day at $35 for adults and $25 for seniors or students. Last year, $18,000 was raised to benefit the cross-country and track teams.


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"The money funded buses (to meets) not funded by the school district, entries into the meets, new hurdles, a new pole vault landing pad," Weber said. "It's nice to be able to provide these things for the kids."

One sidelight to the fun is athletes returning from college who are able to meet up with their former Piedmont classmates at the fun run. Also, said Weber, some families or individuals have participated in every run since the event began 11 years ago. Piedmont Mayor John Chiang, now in his 60s, runs the course every year, while trying to persuade his fellow council members to do so.

The top male and female finishers will win a turkey as well as a pumpkin pie and a gift certificate to Transports running outfitters store. Second- and third-place winners receive ribbons. And everyone can enjoy hot cocoa, coffee and snacks after the race.

There will be an awards ceremony at approximately 9 a.m. Volunteers are still needed to be course monitors and help with other aspects of the event. To inquire about volunteering, call Weber at 510-652-6445.

IF YOU GO
What: Piedmont Turkey Trot
Where: Piedmont High School, 800 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont
When: 8:30 a.m. Nov. 22
Cost: $25 ages 13 and older; $15 age 12 and under; $35/$25 on race day
Contact: 510-652-6445 or piedmontturkeytrot@yahoo.com