(The following is from a press release)
The Conejo Valley YMCA is hosting its 11th annual Turkey Day Dash on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 26. The 5K run/walk and 1K family fun run/walk is held at California Lutheran University (60 West Olsen Rd., Thousand Oaks). The length of the races are short enough so everyone can participate in healthy exercise and still make it home in time to prepare for a Thanksgiving gathering.
All ages and abilities are welcome. Professional timing is provided for 5K runners. The 1K family fun run/walk is at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K run/walk starts at 8 a.m. Starting times are a half hour earlier this year. Participants receive a Turkey Day Dash YMCA t-shirt while supplies last and plenty of water and snacks during the event.
Proceeds from the Turkey Day Dash benefit Conejo Valley YMCA youth and senior programs. “All proceeds make a meaningful, enduring impact right in our own community,” said Rochelle Callis, the Conejo Y’s executive director. “The YMCA is dedicated to helping all of us lead healthy, invigorating lives. Our fundraisers enable everyone to participate in our programs regardless of their financial circumstances.”
More than 3,500 runners and walkers took part in this “fitness before the feast” event last year, making it the largest run/walk in Ventura County. The first Turkey Day Dash was in 2004 at Dos Vientos Community Park. “Mike Price and I were on the fundraising committee for the Y. Mike came up with the idea after seeing a similar race put on by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce,” says Glenn Slensker, one of the original Turkey Day Dash chairs. “We were looking to come up with one big fundraising event. We were told to expect 250 participants our first year and 750 turned out. We were stunned by the number.”
The run/walk quickly outgrew its Dos Vientos venue. It moved to The Oaks Mall in 2009. “When stores began opening earlier and earlier for post-Thanksgiving sales, we had to move again,” says Slensker, who still is actively involved in event preparations. “Turkey Day Dash moved to CLU in 2012. The campus has proven to be a great setting for the race. We expect about 4,000 participants this year.”
Awards will be handed out to the fastest runners in 15 age and gender categories—including those runners as young as age nine and under to runners age 76 and up. A costume contest will be held for all participants. The top three winners for the most creative and crazy costume will receive prizes.
Online registration is $35 for individuals and $75 for families (immediate family only—up to six people). To register online, go to www.turkeydaydash.org In-person registration will be available at Road Runner Sports (1714 Newbury Rd., Newbury Park) on November 24 and 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for $40 for individuals and $85 for families. All those who have registered online and in person can pick up their race t-shirts and timing bibs on those days. Day-of-race registration takes place at the old CLU football stadium from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. and is $45 for individuals and $100 for families.
No pets are allowed. Jogging strollers are welcome. They will line up at the end of the starting line.
Major sponsors for the event include CLU, Road Runner Sports, The Oaks, Thousand Oaks Rotary, Raymond James, Edward Jones and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
For more information, to pre-register and for other registration options, go to www.turkeydaydash.org or call 805-523-7613.