The starting line from the 2012 Long Beach Turkey Trot. All Photos Courtesy of LBTT Facebook.
That annual event designed to reduce the impact of your caloric intake on Thanksgiving AND simultaneously raise money for charity is soon upon us.
Long Beach’s annual Turkey Trot, organized by famed Long Beach resident Justin Rudd, is set to take place beginning at 7:00AM on Thursday, November 26, and continue in 30 minute waves, with the last wave set for 10:00AM. But you’ll have to hurry—the deadline to register is Tuesday, November 24.
“We intentionally have those various start times because we have people who want to sleep in on a holiday like that, and I know that people go out the night before, so that works fine and others want to get it out of the way early and get home and get the turkey in the oven and on to grandma’s house,” said Rudd in an interview last year.
The 8:30AM start time is expected to sell out by Sunday.
Rudd created the event 13 years ago after noticing the nearest Turkey Trot was located in Dana Point. An Alabama native, Rudd decided to take the tradition in which he annually participated at home to Long Beach.
What started out as a single event with about 500 participants has grown into a tradition that draws nearly 5,000 people every year, funding nearly 90 percent of Rudd’s charity, Community Action Team (CAT).
The money raised from the entry fees (currently $35) goes toward the general fund for CAT, which will help fund events like the Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade this Sunday, the Miss Long Beach Pageant in November and the National Bulldog Beauty Contest in March.
“Let’s put it this way: the Turkey Trot funds my non-profit for the entire year,” Rudd said last year. “That’s how important it is.”
The 5K race, which is untimed due to the costs incurred, begins and ends at the Granada Boat Launch, with a turnaround at Junipero Avenue. The 10K also begins and ends at the Granada Boat Launch, but its turnaround is located Gangway V, Shoreline Village.
In between the races, a comedic foray into “chicken chucking” in the Chicken Chucking Contest is sure to entertain participants and passersby. Runners are encouraged to dress festively. In the past, they’ve often shown up in loincloths and pilgrim garb.
Last year, Rudd said he just hopes the event unites the community in an active way.
“You can tell by the number of people that come out and participate that it’s a community building event,” Rudd said. “Anytime that we can get 5,000 people, mostly from around this area to come together—and they’re going to have some relatives come in from others states or other countries—that just solidifies who we are as a community.”
Online registration for the Turkey Trot ends Tuesday, November 24 in the afternoon. However, participants can register with cash on Wednesday at packet pickup located at the start line from 3:30 to 6:30PM, or on race morning after 6:15AM. To register, click here.