Runners gearing up for the return of Detroit's Turkey Trot

Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-21 20:29:50-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — With Thanksgiving around the corner, Michiganders are not only busy preparing for turkey dinner, but Detroiters are also gearing up to take part in the annual Turkey Trot.

The traditional holiday 5K and 10K run are set to return this year on Thanksgiving Day in Downtown Detroit. The owner of Chip Time Running, Tommie Runz, says the annual tradition is a must if you are chasing a healthy holiday.

"It's thousands of people gathering in the downtown Detroit area, and all just dressed up in turkey outfits, drumstick outfits, all the stuff. They start the holiday properly," Runz said.

For the 39th edition of Turkey trot, Runz will be aiming to beat his last year’s record.

"When you are trying to break 20 minutes the first time, it's a huge feat. This year I plan on breaking 17:23," he said.

The 37-year-old is well known within the local running community to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. But all this is a result of a wake-up call back in 2017.

"Lots of drinking a lot of eating anything and everything, and I thought it was normal and fun," he said.

Things got so bad that he said he couldn’t last 2 or 3 days without drinking, resulting in other ailments.

"I had high blood pressure, I was taking blood pressure medicines every day, and they said you would have to do this forever," Runz added.

On Jan. 11, 2017, Tommie found the courage to join an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which was the first step towards his transformation.

Even though he said the program helped him get stronger mentally, it was his newfound passion for running that kept him going.

"I will be celebrating 5 years of sobriety in January," he said.

But some runners will also be focusing on photo ops.

"The hardest moment in this race will be crossing the finish line with a smile on your face," he added. "Do a thumbs up, do something, but cross with some dignity because I've been really disappointed with my finish line photos in the past."

The last day to register for the Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot is Nov. 24. For more information visit