On Nov. 23, runners will get the chance to trek through the streets and residential neighborhoods of the village of Pinehurst in the Sandhills region of central North Carolina at the Turkey Trot half-marathon, 10k, 5k and 1-mile race, which marks its 33rd annual running in 2013.
In 2012, more than 1,200 runners crossed the finish line in all races combined, including more than 340 runners in the half-marathon alone. Most participants will tell you that this is the most beautiful half-marathon course they have run, and challenging to boot.
The course is certified by USATF-RRTC (USA Track and Field, Road Running Technical Council). It winds through mostly residential neighborhood streets of the village of Pinehurst and the Pinehurst Resort. In the stretches around the middle miles of the race, golf fans will find the street names quite familiar, as they run along Burning Tree Road, Diamondhead Drive and St. Andrews Drive.
Runners can expect much of the course to offer ample shade, as the route will make its way largely through residential areas as well as around stretches of Pinehurst Lake, and past several fairways within the neighborhoods that make up the golf resort. The race will finish in Cannon Park, which lies just north of the famed golf course where the U.S. Open is played.
At the finish line runners can expect a great family-fun atmosphere. From bouncy houses and balloon animals for the kids, to great food brought by Moe’s Southwest Grill and Rita’s Italian Ice, it is sure to be a fun time for runners and spectators alike.
Another fun and unique aspect of this race is the Youth Challenge. Anyone under the age of 19 will race as an elementary, middle or high school student. All youth will receive a finisher’s medal, regardless of which race they participate in. The school that has the most miles run by its students will receive a school trophy as well as a Rita’s Italian Ice party.
The race is hosted by First Health of the Carolinas hospitals and a portion of each entry goes to the The Foundation of FirstHealth. FirstHealth of the Carolinas is a not-for-profit health-care system serving 15 counties in the mid-Carolinas. Funds raised locally remain within the community to best serve the needs of local patients and families. The foundation supports programs and services such as scholarships for cardiac rehab patients, scholarships for its Cancer Wellness Program, support for cancer patients through Cancer CARE-Net, capital for advanced technology and on-going support for nurses through continuing education.