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‘What Thanksgiving’s about’: Thousands trot across Oakland for charity


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: Participants with turkey heads approach the finish line during the annual Oakland Turkey Trot 5-Kilometer race at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Despite all outward appearances — the faux plumage, the yellow beak, a pair of wings at the ready — Soyoung Kim proved to be no turkey on a sunny Thanksgiving morning.

Even if she appeared, in her own words, overly cooked.

“I’m going to become a dry-as-a-bone turkey after this,” said Kim, laughing while wearing a sweltering, head-to-toe turkey outfit for a morning run before sitting down for the big meal.

Thousands of people — many of them dressed in turkey outfits accented with pairs of running shoes — galloped along Lake Merritt and through downtown Oakland on Thursday morning for the Oakland Turkey Trot. The annual 5-kilometer race was among several pre-Thanksgiving meal running events held Thursday across the Bay Area, including in San Francisco, San Jose and Walnut Creek.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Ken Gutman, right, and his daughter Scarlett, 7, of Oakland, stretch as his wife and mother Shanon Hogan looks on before the start of the annual Oakland Turkey Trot at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: A group of friends and family members in Thanksgiving costumes from the East Bay get ready to participate in the annual Oakland Turkey Trot at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf addresses to hundreds of participants before the start of the annual Oakland Turkey Trot at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Hundreds of participants take part in the annual Oakland Turkey Trot 5-Kilometer race at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Hundreds of participants take part in the annual Oakland Turkey Trot 5-Kilometer race at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

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Each of them offered a chance for residents to work off a few calories before the day’s belt-busting activities, often while raising money for charities across the region.

“It’s all about community-building, one turkey leg at a time,” said Eduardo Neal, 51, who, like Kim, donned a turkey suit for the affair.

At least 4,200 people participated in Oakland’s race, which was expected to raise about $50,000 for a slew of nonprofits and charities across the city, said Ryan Dawkins, the race’s director. Those beneficiaries included the Alameda County Community Food Bank, the A-Z Fund at the Oakland Public Education Fund and Running for a Better Oakland.

The festivities represented a return to normalcy for race organizers after the pandemic took a sizeable bite out of signups and donations for the annual gathering. Organizers opted to hold 2020’s event virtually — allowing people to run 5 kilometers on their own, rather than participate as one large group. Despite returning to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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