By Michelle Colesanti

What better way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration than by participating in a 5K. Not only will you burn off some of those calories you will pack on during the big meal later in the day, but you will be helping to benefit local schools: Inez Doby Elementary, Eisenhower Middle School and East Bay High School.

The 5K tradition in Newland’s Waterset Community began in 2015. This is the second year that Newland is hosting the event. Last year’s race was a success with over 600 runners, and more than $14,000 raised for local schools. The FishHawk Road Runners will be helping once again to plan and execute the race.

Lynda McMorrow, Marketing Manager of Waterset by Newland Communities said, “We’re so excited to host the second annual Waterset Turkey Trot. This is a wonderful opportunity for our residents and the entire SouthShore community to come together. We’re pleased that so many people are looking forward to the event and that in a very short time, it has already become a local tradition.”

The Waterset 5K Turkey Trot will be held Thanksgiving morning, November 23 beginning at The Lakeside Park, 7250 Parkshore Dr. in Apollo Beach.

Check in opens at 7 a.m. and the chip-timed 5K race will begin 8 a.m. A separate Kid’s race will take place at 9 a.m. Strollers are welcome.

Awards will be given out for overall male and female Masters, Grand Masters and top three in each age group. Medals will be given for all who participate in the Kid’s race.

Early bird registration through November 19 is $25. After that, the fee is $35. The Kid’s Fun Run Registration costs $15. Online registration is now available at www.athlinks.com/event/turkey-trot-at-waterset-191213.

Early packet pick up will be at The Landing Club and Café in Waterset at 7012 Sail View Lane on Wednesday, November 22 from 3-8 p.m.

There are also additional sponsorship opportunities: Gold ($1500), Silver ($1000), Bronze ($500) or Race Friend ($250) sponsor. For more information on sponsorship, please contact McMorrow at lmcmorrow@newlandco.com or call 235-0154.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.