RANCHO SANTA FE — It seemed that Mother Nature sanctioned the inaugural Turkey Trot hosted by the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center at the Arroyo Ranch Property on Nov. 26. The day was dripping with sunshine and temperatures were in the mid-70s — perfect for running the 5K and/or sliding around in the mud during the mud run.
It is unusual to hold a Turkey Trot after Thanksgiving, so it was billed as a way to burn all the extra calories consumed during the holiday and to give people with guests still in town something to do.
“What else are you going to do the Saturday after Thanksgiving?” asked Erin Weidner, executive director of the of the Community Center, as she checked in participants, handing each a keepsake T-shirt designed by Brittany Saake.
Weidner said she didn’t know how many people would eventually come out for the event, but initially 20 teams of four had signed up in advance.
“We’ll have at least 100,” she said. “That’s pretty good for something that is brand new.”
On hand were numerous volunteers, many of them high school students earning some community service hours.
Weidner said at first she was trying to figure out a way to run the 5K through the streets of the village, but it was Peter Smith, Covenant manager, who gave her another idea.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you just have it out on the Arroyo?’” she said.
She said it was a great idea for a couple of reasons, one being that many people don’t know the property is owned by the Association and that it is theirs to enjoy.
“It’s a great place for families to come out and use what is in their backyard,” she said.
Several food trucks came out to the event to help keep the runners fueled, as well as vendor Running Skirts and health and lifestyle coach Cameron Trickey.
As the crowd began to gather, runners began warming up.
Kase Ezzet showed his children, Nolan and Paloma, how to stretch before the race.
“We’re doing the mud run,” Nolan said. “I like getting dirty.”
The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department provided the water from their tanker truck to make the mud.
Runners completed the 5K that ran in a butterfly pattern around the Arroyo.
During the event, there was music, bocce ball and other games.
The Turkey Trot replaces the usual fall fundraiser, which moved the Poker Tournament to Jan. 21, 2012.
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