ENCINITAS — Nearly 5,000 people participated in this year’s 9th Encinitas Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, raising close to $15,000 for charitable causes.
The popular holiday run-walk event featured 10K and 5K races and a shorter run for children under 10.
The money raised through participation fees will go towards the Veterans Association of North County and Boy Scouts of America Troop 776 in Encinitas, according to Steve Lebherz, president of Excelerace, the event management company hosting the Encinitas Turkey Trot.
Since Excelerace has an anonymous foundation matching donations to the Thanksgiving event, the total raised by the turkey trot is likely around $25,000, Lebherz said.
“We’re supporting all our military and helping them with Christmas preparations, especially for the active duty families on base; this pays for dinner for active duty families and contributes to gifts for kids of active duty people,” Lebherz said. “We find that our money really goes so much further with Veterans Association of North County than any other organization in terms of helping these military members and their families.”
Lebherz noted the smoothness of this year’s event.
“The police department, the city parks and recreation all helped make this event great,” Lebherz said. “I couldn’t believe how pretty it was that morning, so we had the weather working for us, a good easy crowd and all. Some things hit right, and this one really did–it really worked out this year, and I couldn’t be happier.”
The 10th Encinitas Turkey Trot is scheduled next year on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023, featuring 10K, 5K, and children’s running events. To register and for more information on the Encinitas Turkey Trot, visit https://excelarace.com/.
O’side Turkey Trot
Nearly 8,000 runners made waves at the 17th O’side Turkey Trot, the largest Thanksgiving Day running and walking event in San Diego County. Over the past two decades, the event has raised nearly $500,000 for local charities. This year, the holiday running event generated more than $25,000.
“When Richard Muscio and I launched the O’side Turkey Trot nearly 18 years ago, community impact was a central value and purpose for this event,’” said Kathy Kinane, co-founder and race director of O’side Turkey Trot. “To know that we’ve been able to generate this level of funds for the over 65 charities we partner with – it means that we achieved that goal to give back to our city and make a positive change.”
More than 3,000 participated in this year’s event as first-time trotters, and 270 teams registered for the event. This year’s O’side Turkey Trot participants represented 43 states and the countries of Norway, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Team Austin Bice, The Roof Masters, Oceanside First Presbyterian Church, and El Camino Cross Country/Terras Trails attracted the most participants and took home $100 gift certificates for the popular largest teams contest. Favorite outfits in the costume contest included turkeys, chefs, characters from the Wizard of Oz, and the San Diego Chicken.
Top finishers in the run were Meriah Earle, who won the women’s five-mile event in 28 minutes and 42 seconds, and Christopher Wernke, who finished first in the men’s five-mile event in 25:46. Tim Hendricks was first with a time of 15:03 in the men’s 5K. Emily Glass won the women’s 5K with a time of 14:59. Full results for each age group and event are available to view here.
The O’side Turkey Trot is scheduled to take place on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2023, reprising its five-mile, 5K, and children’s running events. To register and for more information on the O’Side Turkey Trot, visit www.osideturkeytrot.com. Follow the event on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
More photos from the O’side Turkey Trot: