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Long Beach turns out to trot before turkey time – Daily News

The breeze was brisk early Thanksgiving morning at Granada Beach as runners and walkers gathered for the 19th annual Long Beach Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 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 300 or so from 2019, said Justin Rudd. He organizes the trot to help pay for the nearly 100 other annual events he and his nonprofit Community Action Team put on. A virtual trot took place last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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

The ninth annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles downtown Los Angeles was expected to raise $100,000 for The Midnight Mission to help those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Also, the Drumstick Dash took to the streets of the NoHo Arts District. There were also brisk runs in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Claremont, Santa Clarita, Torrance, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Some Long Beach participants said they’ve been looking forward to the return of the run, a Thanksgiving tradition.

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

“This is Rhis’s first,” she added, pointing to the stroller she was pushing. “He’s 5 months old.”

Runners and walkers chose either a 5-kilometer or a 10-kilometer trot, with two start times to ease the crowd crunch. There also was a half-mile Wing-Ding for children to end the day.

There were plenty of costumed runners — primarily turkeys and multiple tutus, with a few pilgrims mixed in — but no Native American depictions. Rudd banned those types of costumes almost a decade ago.

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

Another Turkey Trot tradition — free pumpkin pies given to random finishers by Miss Long Beach and other title holders — returned as well. This run doesn’t give out finisher medals and only small prizes to those who finish in front of the pack, however.

“I plan to eat a lot later,” Angelica Souder of Cypress said. Souder and friends were sporting fall-orange tutus.

“This is the first in-person run for us since COVID,” she added. “And it’s fun.”

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