Participants carry umbrellas and wear rain gear as the take off from the starting line of the 11th annual Thanks Giving Day Turkey Trot event held at College of the Canyons on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

COC’s ‘Turkey Trot’ brings out dozens during heavy downpour

While many families snuggled up in bed or started their Thanksgiving Day preparations Thursday morning, more than 100 local residents endured the icy and wet weather conditions to run 3 miles as part of the College of the Canyons’ 11th annual Turkey Trot. 

The event, which typically attracts anywhere between 100 to 200 people, brought out children and their parents, alumni, die-hard runners and others who tagged along, wearing yellow “Turkey Trot” T-shirts they received after paying a $20 entrance fee. 

Funds go toward the COC Athletic Department’s cross country and track-and-field programs, according to Lindie Kane, the cross country and track-and-field head coach.

Participants Brittany Burkhead, left, and Emily Brumleve put on their t-shirts as they prepare for the start of the 11th annual Thanks Giving Day Turkey Trot event held at College of the Canyons on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

The event started 11 years ago after Kane’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. 

“We started to do something on Thanksgiving to bring awareness for cancer research,” she said. “We then tied it into our teams and many of our track and cross country team members come out and help work the event, as well as bring awareness to community events and how others can help.” 

With a good cause in mind, the enthusiastic group jumped and cheered at the start line before covering a 3-mile course through the COC Valencia campus. Some ran in full running attire, while others kept it casual with hoodies, umbrellas and coffee in hand. 

Among the crowd was the Simpson family of four, who were excited to participate in their first Turkey Trot event. 

Dozens of runners take off from the starting line of the 11th annual Thanks Giving Day Turkey Trot event held at College of the Canyons on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We’ve run in the rain before but this will be fun to do with the community. I think we’ll get some hot cocoa afterward,” said Jeremy, father of two.

On a more competitive level, former COC distance runner Brian Hicks said he had a goal in mind: “I’m trying to hit under 16 minutes.” 

He was joined by a group of friends, also alumni runners, who were excited to reunite for the holiday season and run together once again. 

“We just decided everyone’s in town so let’s just meet up as a good reunion. Weather, like this, essentially, doesn’t stop us from running,” said Joel Estrada. 

All participants were entitled to a medal and the top three men and women finishers would receive awards. 

Results are posted on livetrackresults.com. 

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