Security has been increased, the Fairfield Police Department says, for the 36th annual Pequot Runners Thanksgiving Day Five-Mile Road Race on Thursday morning. There will be additional police personnel in uniform and plain clothes, EOD dogs and scanning equipment as well as video surveillance at the start of the race and at the finish at the Wakeman Boys/Girls Club, Fairfield police announced in October.

Race officials are asking that runners arrive for the race on Thursday by 7:15 a.m., as they may be subject to security-related delays. If they bring bags to the event, the bags are requested to be transparent and contain no metal objects.

The race will start at 8:15 a.m. at the Wakeman Boys/Girls Club, 385 Center Street in Southport. In addition to the five-mile race, there will be a 2.6-mile walk through Southport Harbor, too.

"Now in our 36th year, we have always strived to put on a safe, enjoyable event for all", said Jeff Palmer, the race director. The race attracts among the largest number of runners of any race in the state.

Palmer expects to surpass the record 5,400 entrants registered at the 2012 race.

"With the continued support from our sponsors we are confident that we will again be able provide significant donations to our designated charities," Palmer said. The race has benefited organizations including the Wakeman Boys/Girls Club of Southport, Westport EMS , the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Fairfield Counseling Services , the Laddie Lawrence Scholarship Fund (founded by the Pequot Running Club) at Staples High School in Westport, Westport EMS and the Fairfield Police Explorers.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers ($300 for the winners, $150 for the runnersup and $100 for third place). There will be a post-race raffle with many prizes as well, including a hybrid bike from Cycle Dynamics of Westport.

The first 5,500 entrants will receive a long sleeve, 100% cotton T-shirt designed by Weston High School alumnus, Anna Griffin, an art director in Portland, Maine. The easiest way to enter is online at www.pequotrunners.org by clicking on "Register Now." Entrants may also sign up at the Wakeman Boys/Girls Club in Southport on Monday through Wednesday night, from 7-9 p.m.

Day-of-race registration is also available until 7:45 a.m., but no shirts will be available to runners signing-up then.

The five-mile course through Southport and Westport's "Gold Coast" has long been a favorite of many runners, and the post-race party with refreshments has always been popular. The Trumbull Bagpipe Band will be back for its 30th consecutive year to lead the runners to the starting line.

More information is available online at www.pequotrunners.org.