Arturo Gomez Molina
Renegade Race Series’ 11th Annual 5K/10K Turkey Trot returned to Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park Nov. 18 with thick morning fog and 50-degree weather.
Participants rolled into the parking lot as early as 6 a.m. to register, stretch and put on their wildly decorated turkey costumes.
“We’re here for the views and the free pie,” laughed Whittier resident Jacqueline Hernandez.
Hernandez was running the course with long-time friend Diana Arnold from Hacienda Heights and other friends.
“It is a cold morning but everyone seems to be having a great time and it is so fun to see so many people dressed up as turkeys,” she said.
The starting line was set up on the south side of Puddingstone Lake. Runners in the 5k category ran along the shore side until they reached the northeastern part of the lake and circled back to complete the other half of the course.
The runners in the 10k had the same starting course but continued past the lake and ran along Brackett Field Airport. Once they nearly reached Fairplex Drive they turned around and continued to circle the rest of the lake counterclockwise.
When racers reached the finish line they were welcomed with bananas and medals that depicted a cartoon turkey running wild. Once decorated with their medals, racers could head over to a table where they also received slices of pumpkin pie.
“I hope everyone who came out today is having a fun time and is soaking in the beautiful scenery the park has to offer,” Renegade Race Series founder Jonathan Pauley said. “We decided not to do it on Thanksgiving to give everyone an opportunity to still enjoy running the race as well as an evening with their families on Thursday.”
Pauley founded Renegade Race Series in 2008 after completing business school in San Francisco. He said being able to combine business with his passion for running was an amazing feeling.
The Turkey Trot and the other seasonal themed races are all non-profit, with different the proceeds going to different charities each year.
This year’s beneficiary was Strength In Support, a non-profit organization that helps veterans returning from active service. They offer support through counseling, support mentorships and educational workshops.
“I realized that there wasn’t a non-profit helping veterans on a personal level and I needed to change that,” co-founder Jill Boultinghouse said. “I really hope people can stop by our booth today and take home some information for someone they may know who really needs it.”
SIS was founded in Orange County but has branched out to open offices in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Boultinghouse said they help more than 750 veterans a year and that number continues to grow annually. She also said she hopes people can channel their national patriotism more locally to help veterans in their own neighborhoods.
Renegade Race Series will head to Irvine on Dec. 16 for its Santa Run beginning at Hicks Canyon Elementary School.
For information and registration, visit renegaderaceseries.com/santa-run.
Arturo Gomez Molina can be reached at email@example.com.