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Sports Talk: Oceanside race far from a turkey

If Kathy Kinane can figure it out, why can’t our politicians?

“If you want great health care you need to have an active lifestyle,’ Kinane said. “So when families say they want to get together, why not do it over a run or a hike instead of eating too much or drinking too much?”

That’s food for thought as we enter the holiday season. And among its highlights is the 12th Oceanside Turkey Trot, which gets some 9,000 people moving before mowing down their grub on Nov. 23.

“We really try to make it fun, like a festival,” said Kinane, the Turkey Trot’s race director and a longtime North Coast resident. “We really want it to be for everybody.”

Bodies in shape and out, with birth certificates ranging from young to old, will tackle the scenic course. It comes with Pacific Ocean views and a wave of good vibes, which is why Runner’s World Magazine selected it as one of the nation’s best Thanksgiving runs.

“We were blown away by that,” Kinane said.

A stiff breeze can arrive by watching runners blaze through downtown Oceanside in the 10K and 5K.

“We have really good elite competition,” Kinane said,

The reason this event has soul is the various soles traipsing over the courses. For many it’s as much about attending an annual reunion as the run.

Unfortunately last year’s oldest participant, Mickey Stolzoff, passed away recently at age 96.

“She did the 1-mile walk with her great, great, grandchildren,’ Kinane recalled of watching Stolzoff, a 1936 Oceanside High graduate. “And at the end of it she was beaming like a lighted Christmas tree.”

To continue Stolzoff’s legacy, 35 family members are running in her honor and then huddling for her memorial on Nov. 26.

“They delayed the service until then because they knew all the family would be at the run,” Kinane said. “I think that is so cool.”

So is Kinane. And it’s not because the experienced race director who cut her teeth with a Santa Barbara run in 1991 choreographs a good event.

She’s also instrumental in the Move Your Feet Foundation. It introduces area youngsters to the benefits of running which can last a lifetime — Stolzoff’s family will confirm.

It’s one of the 60 nonprofits in Oceanside that has received nearly $300,000 from the Turkey Trot.

“It’s a win-win for the community,” Kinane said.

Collin Jarvis, who was a standout at Rancho Buena Vista High and the University of California, will bring his winning times and attitude to this year’s race.

Years ago Kinane was impressed with Jarvis but also saw he was exhausted after competing.

“I noticed how he ran out of gas, and he was in great shape,” Kinane said. “He should never be that tired.”

Jarvis was later diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic intestinal disease. Jarvis was told he would need to wear a colostomy bag.

But Jarvis didn’t let that slow him down.

He remained a regular at the Turkey Trot races. In 2012 he won the 5K in 14 minutes, 57 seconds and he placed second in the 5 Mile with a time of 26:16 in 2014.

“It’s been a long road but I’ve had the support of so many people,” Jarvis said. “When I was sick, there was an element of the unknown. I felt so incapacitated. But as I grew stronger, I realized it wasn’t the illness that could stop me, it was only me who could do that. I made the decision not to stop, but to keep running.”

Jarvis now serves as vice president of marketing operations for StealthBelt, a company that makes osmotic belts that fit securely and discreetly.

“It’s exciting to see Collin and his family every year,” Kinane said. “He gives hope to people who have faced obstacles. Collin represents what is best about our race: the chance to team family and friends with physical activity, and enjoy the day.”

It’s a day like no other in Oceanside, as people from 46 states converge for fun, run and sun.

“We’ve made Oceanside a tourist destination on Thanksgiving weekend,” Kinane said.

Contact Jay Paris at [email protected]. Follow him @jparis_sports