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Thaw-struck at Turkey Trot

Nearly 900 participants stretched and stomped their feet as the temperature hovered around 40 degrees on Thanksgiving morning waiting to take off for Burbank’s first Turkey Trot.

Organized by the Burbank YMCA, the race — split into 5 and 10 kilometers — was a successful trial run for what coordinators said they hope will become an annual event.

“‘Phenomenal’ is the one word I can think of that describes the turnout at this event,” said YMCA Chief Executive JC Holt. “And our goal is to make this a signature event for Burbank.”

Burbank’s second annual Turkey Trot will be part of the city’s centennial celebration, Holt added.


The route stretched along North 3rd Street in downtown Burbank between East Verdugo Avenue and Andover Drive, with a brief detour along Scott Road.

Volunteers arrived around 6 a.m. to help block the course off with their own cars.

Runners from as far away as New Jersey and around the state joined in the inaugural event.

Anthony Solis, 3, of Simi Valley, was jumping around and cheering in a Superman costume for the runners as they passed the water station.


Thursday was Anthony’s first race. He had been training with his parents, who run triathlons.

A bundle of energy, Anthony nodded vigorously when asked if he was excited to run in the 1K Youngsters Fun Run event, approximately half a mile.

“Oh yes, he’s very excited,” said Walter Solis, Anthony’s dad. “He’s going to be great.”

With 700 people pre-registered for the event and nearly 200 more registering Thursday morning, the YMCA will use the more than $20,000 raised at the event for its financial aid program.

“The Turkey Trot really fit the vision of the YMCA, which promotes youth development, healthy lifestyles and social responsibility,” Financial Development Director Philip Di Nova. “It is also a great way to be healthy while sharing good times with your family and community.”

The winner of the 5K race finished in less than 20 minutes, but some participants were still walking the 10K route at 10:30 a.m., more than two hours after the first runners took off.

All streets were open to traffic before 11 a.m.

“Congrats to the hundreds of families and friends who braved the cold [Thursday] morning and made this inaugural event such a success,” said City Manager Mike Flad. “They have all earned a second slice of pie and a long nap on the couch.”