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.”