The 10th annual 5k Turkey Dash is set to take place on Nov. 27 on CLU’s campus
Before the annual Thanksgiving feast puts your mind, stomach and body into the ultimate food coma of the year, make sure to get your exercise in that morning. This year is the 10th annual Turkey Day Dash.
“Another individual and I started the Turkey Day Dash 10 years ago as an annual fundraiser with the funds dedicated to helping families and individuals participate in programs at the YMCA,” said Glenn Slensker, chair of the event for nine years.
It will be located at California Lutheran University on Nov. 27.
“Cal Lutheran is an awesome location for this event because of the fun atmosphere that the campus provides. Participants love the feel of being on campus,” said race director and Administrative and Membership Director for The YMCA, Zak Howell.
Howell is hosting the Turkey Day Dash.
“Any funds that are left over after paying for everything for the race will go back to the Y,” Howell said.
Slensker said the run begins near the north side of the old football stadium field off Campus Drive and ends on the west side of the stadium.
“I like the course because it’s got some flat, down and uphill and it’s nice to be able to run where I work,” said Dr. Russell Stockard Jr., a communication professor at Cal Lutheran.
This race has already had 1,129 people registered but registration is open until the day of the race. Registration for the day of the race is from 7-7:45 a.m. and will cost $45. If individuals preregister, the cost is $35. Families can register together for $80 before the race day or pay $100 the day of the race.
“I will be there hours before the race and will stay until everyone has left,” Howell said.
Howell will be in front of the Conejo dorm on the old football field for any registrations that will take place Thanksgiving morning.
“The most common group of people that participate are families but we also have a lot of students and seniors ranging from 75 years and older,” Howell said.
Stockard generally runs alone but this year he said he believes four or five teammates from the running club will be joining him this year.
“I have run in the Turkey Day Dash for the last three or five years. At least as long as it has been at Cal Lutheran,” Stockard said.
The Turkey Day Dash will begin at 8 a.m. for those participating in the 1K Fun Run. For those participating in the 5K Run or Walk, they will begin their race at 8:30 a.m.
Participants should arrive early because a high turnout is expected.
“The numbers of participants are already up a couple hundred people from last year’s race,” Howell said.
Howell said some runners are able to finish as quickly as 15-16 minutes and others can take about 40 minutes.
“I ran the course in under 21 minutes,” Stockard said.
With the quickness of this race, families and friends will still have plenty of time to get prepared for their Thanksgiving festivities.
“The fastest runner is about 16 minutes and for those that walk the course, about an hour,” Slensker said.
Howell said it is a family fun run so participants are allowed to walk the course with their families. It does not have to be a competitive race.
Howell is a competitive runner himself and has participated in many half marathons and marathon races.
“My favorite part of the Turkey Day Dash is the family memories and traditions that I see being created,” Howell said.
The race is categorized into 14 different age groups and for each age group the top three placed winners will receive a medal, Slensker said. Howell said they have male and female groups.
“This event is about families coming together to have a great time and have some physical exercise before Thanksgiving dinner,” Slensker said. “We have had a tag line for many years ‘Fitness before the Feast.’”
If you’re on campus or near the area get your family to the race for a quick and new family tradition on Thanksgiving morning.
Howell said it is fun to see families get up early on their day off to enjoy a walk or run together.
Published November 19, 2014