Runners kick off Thanksgiving with Knoxville Autumnfest 5k

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Runners will feel a little less guilty about indulging in Thanksgiving dinner after taking part in annual Autumnfest 5k held in Knoxville.

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular days of the year for races.

“It takes a lot of the guilt away,” said runner Chris Morton.

Racing through the streets of downtown Knoxville Thanksgiving morning, nearly 1,000 runners took park in the Autumnfest 5k.

Although 3.13 miles may not burn off the entire turkey feast, Knoxville Track Club Interim Executive Director Kristy Altman say the 5K is a great way to kick-off the holiday season.

“Getting up on Thanksgiving morning, thinking about all the food you’re going to eat, they decided to start a race and it’s grown over the last several years and gotten a little bit bigger,” said Knoxville Track Club Interim Executive Director Kristy Altman.

Runners like Perry Preuett say the run has even become a Thanksgiving tradition of its own.

“When you get the family together it gives you something all to do at once and some of them might be real fit and some of them might not be as fit, but it’s OK because you can walk or you can run,” said Preuett.

No matter if you walk or run, the race helps hundreds start the holiday off on a healthy note. “It’s a great way to promote what’s happening downtown and kickoff Thanksgiving day, burn off some calories before we eat,” said Altman.

During the race, runners donned festive hats, celebratory outfits and there was even a full turkey costume. On top of the 5k, about 150 kids took part in the 1 mile Little Gobbler Run.

“I had a great time running the Gobbler Run and it was very fun,” said 6-year-old runner Hadley Henry.

The run is put on by the Knoxville Track Club. For a full list of their upcoming events, visit the club’s website.

Knoxville Track Club website

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