GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While some people are excited for Thanksgiving dinner this month, others are preparing for a big, festive race.

The Grand Rapids Public Schools Turkey Trot is on its 31st year. It begins at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day in front of Van Andel Arena on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Runners will then wind through downtown before crossing the Grand River to return to the arena’s main entrance.

The race, which presented by Blue Care Network of Michigan, already has 1,000 early sign-ups. It financially supports Grand Rapids Public Schools.

“It helps the GRPS athletics so that families don’t have to come out of pocket as much. … It promotes healthy exercise, promotes strong bones, it helps build up immunity, helps mental health right now as we’re entering this season of depression time,” said Tanell Hills with Blue Care Network.

There is also a Mini Trot for kids 12 and under that is free of charge and begins a little earlier, around 8:15, according to Hills.

“You can run or walk,” Hills said of the 5K. “Strollers are welcome, we are asking that pets remain at home, though.”

Blue Care network is involved with the race because “it aligns perfectly with our mission and values: to promote health as well as give back to our GRPS athletes,” Hills said.

She has run the race herself and has a few tips.

“Bundle up and make sure you stretch,” Hills suggests. “I hear pasta helps, so eat pasta the day before, maybe eat a banana as you’re running the race or right after for the potassium.”

It costs $35 to register for the race. You can sign up until the day-of, but the price increases to $40 on Nov. 23. For more information and to register, visit the City of Grand Rapids website.