On Nov. 23, the Change of Pace Foundation will host the 26th annual Davis Turkey Trot. The Davis Turkey Trot is a marathon held each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in order to provide participants with a fun, healthy and positive community event. The event is open to kids and adults, and also serves as a social function to encourage fitness.
Dave Miramontes, executive director of the Change of Pace Foundation, and his wife created this race back in 1987 under the Foundation. Miramontes noted a major problem in the region — the big gap in fitness events (specifically running) across the community.
“Davis was selected as the location due to the city being such an active community. The event brought the region new features that were not present in Northern California. Such items were computerized timing, elite athletes and a high profile marketing package,” Miramontes said.
According to Miramontes, this event greatly benefits the City of Davis in various ways.
“The event promotes physical fitness and provides the community a high profile event that they don’t have to travel to,” Miramontes said. “The event promotes the City of Davis and showcases the safe roadways and numerous greenbelts that make our city so great.”
By drawing over 8,000 participants and spectators to the City of Davis during the weekend of the event, businesses, restaurants and hotels receive economic benefit.
Additionally, the event has many fraternities, sororities and service groups assisting with the production of the event.
The Change of Pace Foundation also provides scholarships to many less fortunate kids and their siblings. The goal is to enable all interested runners an opportunity.
The 5K or 10K race is priced at $25 to $35 depending on the time of purchase. The Half-Way Marathon is $45 to $55 depending on time of purchase as well. The Half-Way Marathon Two-Person Relay is $70 to $90 dollars. For kids ages 12 and under, the tickets are priced at $12 to $18.
“There are considerable costs to put on the race such as shirts, timing, bibs, closing streets, paying for police, Gatorade etc.,” said Jeannine Henderson, the controller of the Change of Pace Foundation.
Henderson considers the price to be relatively affordable. As with any event, the fees cover numerous costs associated with the production, marketing/advertising, permits and local contributions. The proceeds benefit the Change of Pace Foundation, which enables them to continue to provide free fitness programs to local organizations and schools.
As far as affordability, the Turkey Trot, in comparison to other events of its size and stature, has lower fees due to the fact the Foundation does not wish to discourage anyone from participating. Like their other events, discounts apply for those that register early.
Jennifer Miramontes, the director of marketing, said that historically the event has been extremely safe and comfortable. There are numerous hydration stations to prevent people from fainting.
“In the 27 years of our production, we pride ourselves on having a flawless safety record. Our staffs along with the local Davis Police Department are on hand to ensure all goes smoothly. We have plenty of fluid stations along the route. In fact, there is water every two miles throughout each course. This year, we will have eight fluid and energy stations along the route,” Jennifer Miramontes said.
Moreover, to ensure safety, the Change of Pace Foundation discourages the use of iPods and mp3 players. The Foundation wants participants to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings in case of emergencies that could occur throughout the city.
Weather has historically been good. Last year, it was rainy and windy, but that did not stop the participants from coming out.
Last year, 23-year-old David Chellman, a runner from Reno, won the 5k race and finished in 15 and a half minutes. Bjorn Jones won the 10k race and finished in less than 18 minutes.
Carlos Esqueda, a first-year managerial economics major, is looking to participating in the 10K race at the event.
“I know I may not be the fast runner, but it seems like a nice opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Davis and company of my friends while getting a good workout,” Esqueda said.
Dave Miramontes said he hopes to see more students participate in this event.
“The Turkey Trot is a fun and healthy form of entertainment. We would love to see more college students embrace the event as after all, it takes place in their own backyard,” Dave Miramontes said. “While many students often tend to run on their own, running with a large field with others that value running and fitness in a race setting is addictive.”