On your mark, get set, go!

Frederick County Parks and Recreation will host its annual Thanksgiving Day 5K at Sherando High School near Stephens City at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.

New this year, the department is unveiling two races for youth who might not be inclined to participate in the full 5K. Two heats of races, the first at 7:45 a.m. and the second at 8:15 a.m., will take place before the 5K. One will be geared for ages 6-7 (0.6 kilometers) and the other for ages 8-9 (1 kilometers).

To register, visit https://fcprdrun.wixsite.com/runatthetop/thanksgiving-day-5k

The 5K benefit race remains a chip event on a certified course. Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers. Six-hundred racers have already registered, but staff expects at least another 200 to sign up.

The turkey trot usually sees runners from nearly 25 states, said Tony Baker, the event’s marketing manager. The race utilizes Sherando High School and Sherando Park for its course.

“It’s a great way to kick off Thanksgiving morning,” Baker said. “It’s a cool race in the sense that people see one another for the first time in a while, with people home for Thanksgiving.”

Proceeds from the race go to the Frederick County Parks and Rec Department’s People Lending Assistance to Youth (PLAY) fund.

Today is the deadline to register online. Race day registration will be available, but cash will not be accepted.

— Contact Cormac Dodd at cdodd@winchesterstar.com

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