Thanksgiving day run hits a stride


Adria Watson

The 2017 Brentwood Turkey Trot for Schools drew a record number of entrants, who thundered out of the start area as the race began.

The annual Brentwood Turkey Trot was the biggest ever this year, managing to sell 2000 entries into the race reaching its maximum, up from last year’s 1500. The event’s organization was spearheaded by Edna Hill Middle School teacher and cross country coach Phil Rodriguez along with a planning committee which consisted staff and faculty from both the Liberty Union and Brentwood Union school districts.

The Turkey Trot, which took place on Thanksgiving, consisted of a 5K and a 10K race that participants paid a fee to enter.

LMC Vice President Kevin Horan, who participated as a volunteer this year, was excited by the rapid growth of the event. “Its grown, we only had five or six hundred people the first year, we had 1500 last year and its 2000 this year,” said Horan.

He also explained LMC’s long history supporting the event, which benefits both the Brentwood Union School District and the Liberty Union High School District.

“We were trying to promote the new LMC Brentwood center,” said Horan. “One of the Edna Hill teachers, Phil Rodriguez, decided to start a Turkey Trot and I happen to be very good friends with him so LMC signed on as the first sponsor.”

Horan has consistently volunteered for the event, working this year at the water station handing out drinks to the athletes.

With 2000 entrants paying a maximum of 50 dollars an entry, the event provides several thousand dollars to the school districts. The money derived from the event is put toward sports programs and student learning opportunities.

The event also needed a new course, as 2000 entrants could not use the previous route. This time several streets were closed down and entrants had much more room to run.

One of the big winners of the Turkey Trot was LMC’s own Arren De Manuel, who placed second for his age group in the 5K event with a time of 18:44.

“I was really not expecting to do this well,” said De Manuel, who typically competes in sprint events. “I was trying to hold a constant pace.”

Despite the race being a much longer distance that De Manuel was used to, he did credit his sprint training with his success.

“The sprinting really helped me bring it in at the end,” said De Manuel.

Rodriguez was also proud of the event and its turnout.

“It’s a great community event,” said Rodriguez. “We have 2000 participants, which is up from last year.”

He similarly complimented the staff, stating “we had a great committee this year.”

— Adria Watson contributed to this report