A group of local runners are hoping the success of their inaugural Branson Turkey Trot 5K held Thanksgiving morning at Branson Landing will bring in more people interested in running for health and for fun.
The five kilometer walk and run, equal to about 3.1 miles, was organized by the Ozarks Running Club.
Shane Naugher, an organizer of the Turkey Trot and the running club, said the event was the first the group has put together.
“We actually started a running club here locally only about two months ago,” Naugher said. “It’s just a group of runners who have been active in the community for the past four to five years.
“This is the first event we’ve put on and are evaluating another in the spring.”
Organizers said they were hoping the event would attract 200 to 250 people. Prior to the start of registration Thursday morning, more than 350 people had signed up to participate.
Final figures, including how much money and how many canned food items were collected for charity, won’t be available until next week.
The running club asked participants to bring canned food items to benefit Christian Action Ministries and pledged all proceeds from the registration fees to Ozark Mountain Family YMCA.
Naugher said the idea to organize the race, and to benefit area nonprofits, came from the Springfield Turkey Trot.
“The only challenge for us has been trying to figure out what to expect and making sure we’re sufficiently staffed,” Naugher said. “The one in Springfield has had 18 years of history to use to predict and plan.”
He said organizers were surprised by the number of visitors in the area who took part in the run.
“We have a lot of people here for Thanksgiving that have said they’re glad to have something like this to take part in for the holiday,” Naugher said.
The event should help the running club grow too. Those who joined the club were offered discounted registration for the run.
For more information about the Ozarks Running Club, visit ozarksrunningclub.com.