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Monday, December 6, 2021

Long Beach turns out to be a prequel to turkey

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The wind was strong on Grenada Beach on Thanksgiving morning as runners and walkers gathered for the 19th Annual Long Beach Turkey Trot on Thursday, November 25.

This year, about 2,000 people signed up in advance and another 200 or so joined the run Thanksgiving morning — still a drop of the 300 or so from 2019, Justin Rudd said. He organizes the trot to help pay for the nearly 100 other annual events he and his nonprofit community action team host. Last year there was a virtual trot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Long Beach Run wasn’t the only Thanksgiving event around Los Angeles County on Thursday, November 25.

The Ninth Annual Turkey Trot in Los Angeles City of Los Angeles was expected to raise $100,000 for The Midnight Mission to help those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. In addition, Drumstick Dash took to the streets of the NoHo Arts District. There were also faster runs in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Clermont, Santa Clarita, Torrance, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Some participants in Long Beach said they looked forward to the return of the run, a Thanksgiving tradition.

“This is the eighth or ninth time we’ve done this,” said Halle Berryhill of Long Beach, pointing to husband Ian McMurtrey.

“It’s Rhis’s first,” she said, pointing to the stroller she was pushing. “He’s 5 months old.”

Runners and walkers chose either the 5-kilometer or 10-kilometer trot to reduce congestion, with two starts. There was also a half-mile wing-ding for the kids to end the day.

There were many costumed runners – mainly turkeys and many tutu, with some pilgrims mixed in – but no Native American depictions. Rudd banned these types of costumes almost a decade ago.

“It is our policy to treat people with dignity, dignity and respect,” says Rudd’s website, “regardless of their beliefs, gender, age, race, creed, sexual orientation, special needs and ethnicity.”

Another turkey trot tradition – free pumpkin pie given to random finishers by Miss Long Beach and other title holders – also returned. However, this run does not award finishers medals and only small prizes to those who finish at the front of the pack.

“I plan to eat much later,” said Cypress’s Angelica Souder. Sauder and friends were sporting fall-orange tutus.

“This is the first one for us since COVID,” she said. “And it’s fun.”

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