By John Kovach
WARREN — The biggest running event in the history of the Youngstown-Warren area will be this morning when the 31st annual Warren Kiwanis Club Turkey Trot is held at the Kent State University Trumbull Campus.
Some 2,000 runners are expected to compete, which will break the previous record of 1,400 entries in last year’s Turkey Trot.
The event consists of a 5-mile run beginning at 9 a.m. and a 2-mile fun run/walk starting at 9:45. Both races will start and finish at the KSU Trumbull campus located at the intersection of state Routes 5 and 45, north of Warren.
“The Turkey Trot will be the largest running event ever hosted in the Mahoning Valley,” said Ted Rupe, who is director of the Youngstown Peace Race.
He said that 1,650 runners had registered by Tuesday morning.
“With day of race registration [today], we should approach or surpass 2,000 contestants.”
Also highlighting the race will be entry Sarah Flament of Poland.
“She has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials [only 30 women in the country are currently qualified] by running a 2:45:58 marathon,” said Rupe, who added that qualifying time is sub 2:46.
“Sarah is using the Turkey Trot for a tune-up for the [USA Track and Field] National Cross Country Championships that will be held in Lexington, Ky., on Dec. 12,” Rupe said.
The Turkey Trot will have 14 age divisions of competition for both the 5- and 2-mile events — 10 and under, 11-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70-and-over.
Awards will be presented to the top five male and female finishers, and to the top three finishers in each age group at the lecture hall in the KSU Trumbull administration building.
There also will be awards for male master (40-and-over) and grand master (50-and-over) male and female winners.
Proceeds from the Turkey Trot will benefit Kiwanis projects.
Entry fee is $17 for each race. Checks should be made payable to the Warren Kiwanis Club.
There will be a limited supply of T-shirts for race day registration.