Despite the rain, 2,481 runners and walkers took part in the 23rd annual Davis Turkey Trot Nov. 20 at Civic Center Field.
Each year, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, families and community members gather to participate in the race, organized by the non-profit A Change of Pace Foundation.
“We own the event and it is our largest event of the year,” said Jeannine Henderson, co-race director with A Change of Pace Foundation. “Our mission is to encourage, educate and motivate kids to inspire life-long habits toward a healthy lifestyle. We aim to encourage the community to stay fit and try to provide venues for them to achieve that goal.”
The turkey trot has eight different races, which include a 5K, 10K, and 1-mile loop course. Participants of any age and athletic ability are eligible to compete and the assortment of distances ensures there is an event for everyone.
“The race went very smoothly. Even though it rained, the production of the event was flawless on our end, start to finish,” Henderson said. “Our participation was a little lower than last year and 2008, which I attribute to the weather.”
According to Henderson, the foundation is still totaling the amount of money made, but they are hoping to have raised $30,000. Fundraising is primarily through entry fees, which cost $16-30 on the day of the event. Pre-sale ticket prices are lower.
“We use the proceeds to fund our youth fitness programs, scholarships and initiatives for 2011,” Henderson said.
Most of the proceeds will go toward funding after-school running programs in Yolo County. A portion of the proceeds will also go to UC Davis athletic programs that are not funded by the university.
In addition to competitors, this year’s event brought an influx of volunteers from UC Davis and Davis High School.
“We had about 500 [volunteers] from UC Davis from a variety of fraternities and sororities like Kappa Gamma Delta and Alpha Phi Omega, as well as from clubs such as Circle K International, American Medical Student Association … and others. We had about 100 students from Davis High School volunteer at the event, including California Scholarship Federation, Key Club and Healthy Lifestyles Club,” Henderson said.
The Turkey Trot is not the only event A Change of Pace Foundation organizes. The foundation also puts on the Davis Stampede, which falls in February, as well as two kid’s triathlons.
“We are organizing a training run on Dec. 4 that is entirely free to the community,” Henderson said. “If you are interested in participating in an event, this would be a great opportunity to get out and run.”
ANNABEL SANDHU can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.