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Annual ‘Chocolate Turkey’ race draws hundreds to Peoria riverfront


Runners prepare for the Chocolate Turkey race.
Runners prepare for the Chocolate Turkey race.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 1:05 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - The annual Chocolate Turkey three-mile race drew hundreds to the Peoria riverfront Thanksgiving morning.

Organizers say it was a way for people to get out and get active before heading home to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast.

More than 1500 people signed up to race Thursday, and many of them brought their four-legged friends along for the fun.

At the end of the race, runners were given a real chocolate turkey, plus a t-shirt to remember their experience.

“The racing events are super fun to get communities and families together. A little athleticism to get people moving off the couch before we get a lot of turkey and pie,” said Dena Binegar, whose family has participated in the run for more than 10 years.

ShaZam Racing hosted the run - which comes on the heels of its famous Whiskey Daddle Races. That event was discontinued this year due to low turnout and high costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Putting on a marathon - with the numbers dropping from COVID - it’s just not a sustainable model,” Henz said. “Just like runners, you buck up, you try harder, you do something different and go after it again. We’re not going to give up - we’re going to do something different.”

Next up on the schedule is ShaZam’s ‘Run-Run Rudolph’ event, which is set to take place in December.

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