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Dmitriy Major hits the finish line at last year’s O'side Turkey Trot. Major, a consistent top finisher at the 5-mile distance, also helps set up the course so others can move their feet before they eat. Courtesy photo
Dmitriy Major hits the finish line at last year’s O'side Turkey Trot. Major, a consistent top finisher at the 5-mile distance, also helps set up the course so others can move their feet before they eat. Courtesy photo
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Help yourself, others at O’side Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving has long been a family affair and that’s especially true for those shaking their tail feathers at the 17th O’side Turkey Trot.

“We have people from three and four generations that participate in this event,” Kathy Kinane said. “It’s a time to be thankful.”

Kinane, of Carlsbad, has long been the O’side Turkey Trot promoter and she supplies the elbow grease to countless other Southern California running extravaganzas. What Kinane is seeing this year is a surge of entries from families eager to get their steps in on Thanksgiving morning before someone gets the vittles out.

For those seeking a workout prior to putting their forks into overdrive, the O’side Turkey Trot is a keen appetizer before a cheat day in the chow line.

“Instead of people sitting around and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the 60th time, people can go out for a run or a walk with their families,” Kinane said.

Which makes the O’side Turkey Trot among the leaders for most hugs per athletes. With all that family love and a sense of accomplishment that accompanies hitting the finish line, someone invariably gets squeezed.

That affection flows to two members of Kinane’s team.

Peter Major, a noted former athlete in his own right, has worked for Kinane’s company since 1991. Major’s son, Dmitriy, has followed in his dad’s footsteps.

Before the first Turkey Trot event, Dmitriy will have already logged hours arranging cones and putting the finishing touches on the scenic course that provides fast times and fond memories.

After doing the grunt work, Dmitriy gets groaning with the rest pushing their bodies. He competes in the 5-mile race, which he has won and is a consistent top finisher, and the 5K. After shuffling fast, he shuttles back to clear the course as he lends a hand after his feet starred.

Dmitriy, a cross-country runner too, is attempting to land a spot as a senior on the UC San Diego triathlon squad.

“The Turkey Trot is fun because the course is simple and fast,” he said. “And because you get to see all these people you know each year.”

Those in the know, fitness-wise, are on to the fact that our community’s youth often need a nudge to stay active. That’s why the O’side Turkey Trot, which was featured on the Fox News national broadcast last year, brings a double-whammy of wonderful.

Not only do those going left, right, left, right, increase their heart rate, but their affection for kids is evident by the dough raised at the trot. Since 2007, more than $420,000 has been earmarked for North County students, especially those attending schools along the Highway 78 corridor.

The Move Your Feet Before You Eat Foundation funds running programs and promotes health and well-being by encouraging youngsters to incorporate regular physical fitness into their daily lives.

The Miles of Smiles running/walking endeavors helps teachers keep track of their students’ steps, with cool prizes to the hustlers. The goal is for students to sharpen their mental, physical and emotional health through their road work.

Encinitas, Fallbrook and 4S Ranch are also clearing lanes for their Thanksgiving runs. They’ll join Oceanside’s field of 8,000 in making North County an active place come turkey day.

A certain bird is certainly on the run Thanksgiving. Many diners will have run as well.

Contact Jay Paris at [email protected] and follow him @jparis_sports

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