“It’s Time to Trot,” said guest announcer Dr. Dan Levi. After a two-year absence, almost 2,000 runners, spectators and friends agreed.
Under sunny skies and warm weather, the 8th annual Turkey Trot was held Thanksgiving morning at the Palisades Stadium by the Sea.
Resident Sam Lagana, who also serves as the Los Angeles Rams stadium announcer, welcomed co-host Dorothy Lucey, former Good Day LA Host, who quipped, “I’m not running but I carbo loaded last night just to help you out.”
As runners lined up for the start of the race, Lagana reminded those pushing strollers, “the child in front of you will finish before you do.”
Coco Kennedy, who attended Corpus Christi and Marymount, and is now at the University of Texas at Austin, sang the “National Anthem.”
Then Lagana, with help from three second graders from Corpus, Emily Dimartini, Audrey Going and Milli McKenna, counted down from 10 to start the race.
The first 5K male across the finish line was Will Sheehy of Brentwood in 16:27. He attended Harvard Westlake, where he has several school records: Mt. SAC (15.26) Woodward Park (15:32) and 3-mile (14:52). He may have just set a record for the Turkey Trot, because the course record is 16:30, which was set in 2016 by Ramin Razavi.
A freshman at Swarthmore College, he just finished competing in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on November 19. He said the Turkey Trot was “an easy effort because he had just come off his college cross country season.”
The first woman across the 5K finish line was Georgia McCorkle in 19:07. From Agoura Hills, she is also a college runner. A freshman at UC Berkley, she runs in the first position, but said after the race, “I haven’t run in two weeks.”
Cal concluded its season at the NCAA West Regional finals on November where McCorkle broke the top-100 on the women’s side, racing the 6,000-meters in 20:57.2, her personal-best mark of her freshman campaign.
McCorkle found this Turkey Trot because “I wanted to run and this looked like a fun, nice little community event.” The course record is 18:54, set in 2018 by Tania Fisher.)
Taking the woman’s 10K was Charlotte Kane, 43, a former member of the Swedish Olympic team, who moved to the United States eight years ago and ran track for UCLA.
The Palisades resident had her husband and two sons, 5 and 7, cheering her on. Kane, who went 43.41, is now focusing her energy on triathlons and has competed all over the U.S. She plans to run a half an iron man in April.
The men’s 10K winner remains a mystery because many of the 10K bibs were worn by 5K runners. It will be sorted out and the story will be updated once we have the winner. (The men’s 10K course record, 32.30, was set in 2019 by Redondo Beach’s Craig Taylor.)
“We do this event because we know our community is very interested in kicking off the holiday season in style,” said race organizer David O’Connell. “We know they like to stay fit, we know they like to compete and we know they love to support good charitable causes — in our case Desita.org and the local fire stations.”
Money raised from the event will go to Desita, a local nonprofit, which supports medical and humanitarian missions, and to local Fire Stations 23 and 69.
In the past David Houston and David O’ Connell have produced the event. This year, Houston stepped back and left it to O’Connell, who said, “I’m so glad we were able to deliver on our promise to the community, which is to put on a fun family event and get everyone home in time for Thanksgiving dinner.”
He said the hardest part about bringing the run back after a two-year hiatus was generating interest. “We knew we had to market aggressively because people are still somewhat skeptical about live events,” he said.
Sponsors this year included Robert Miunakash (76 Station), Berkshire Hathaway, Caruso Village, Exela Technolgies, and the lead sponsor was Palisades Development and Funding, which have supported the race for four years.