Drumstick Dash organizers discuss capping registration next year

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Organizers of the annual Wheeler Mission Thanksgiving Day Drumstick Dash say up to 18,000 runners could participate in tomorrow’s race.

The big numbers are prompting some discussions on possibly capping registration starting next year.

“We’ve straightened out the course, taken out some of the sharper turns so the course is good to go,” said Wheeler Mission director Steve Kerr. “It’s more the infrastructure here in Broad Ripple. 18,000 is a good number for a race.”

Of course, annual growth over the last decade has been a good thing for the event. Kerr says the Drumstick Dash has raised over $5 million for Wheeler Mission and the homeless men they serve. Growing registration has made the Drumstick Dash the third largest race in the state, behind the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

But the growing crowds have caused some headaches. Last year, a portion of the course couldn’t contain all the runners, so some racers ended up running through front yards. That part of the course has been altered to fix the problem. Traffic and parking are still concerns.

Shuttle services from Glendale Mall have helped. But after this year’s race, organizers will sit down and talk about how large the Drumstick Dash should get within the existing Broad Ripple infrastructure.

Meantime, registration will be open Thanksgiving morning for those who decide to run at the last minute. You can do that at Broad Ripple High School between 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. The race starts at 9 a.m. right outside the high school.

The cost of registration on the day of the race is $30 per participant. You can sign up for the 4.6 or 2.5 mile course.