PHOTOS: Thanksgiving started with a Trot along the Long Beach shoreline

Thousands of runners participated in either a 10K or 5K Turkey Trot race along the Long Beach shoreline pedestrian path this morning to get an early start celebrating Thanksgiving.

Local community philanthropist Justin Rudd said about 2,300 runners participated in the event.

Thursday’s trot marked the 19th one since Rudd started the event. This year marked a return to an in-person run. Last year’s festivities were mostly virtual due to the pandemic, Rudd said. The money raised during the Turkey Trot is used to fund Rudd’s nonprofit work, which includes monthly beach cleanups.

Pumpkin pies were also awarded to random participants who crossed the finish line.

For runners like Kalani Caldwell, the Turkey Trot is a tradition. She completed a 10K run that began at 7 a.m. while sporting a festive turkey tank top. Other runners wore hats shaped like cooked turkeys, foods commonly found on the dinner table during the holiday feast and even costumes of the famous bird itself.

“I have been doing this since Justin started it,” Caldwell said. “It became a tradition to earn your turkey. It’s a great community event.”

Turkey Trot runners sing the National Anthem before running alongside the Long Beach shoreline pedestrian path on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Justin Rudd, front, leads a group of runners to the starting line of his annual Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

And they’re off! Runners take off from the starting line at Rosie Dog Beach to run either a 5K or 10K race on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

A runner wears a turkey hat while participating in the annual Turkey Trot in Long Beach on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Runners in the holiday spirit wore different Thanksgiving outfits. A runner is seen wearing a full-body turkey costume while running in the Long Beach Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Runners prepare to run a 5K or 10K race in celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Turkey Trot volunteers sporting festive costumes and hats pour water cups for the thousands of runners on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Kalani Caldwell, who just completed a 10K alongside the Long Beach shoreline pedestrian path, looks on as runners finish their Turkey Trot races on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

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