Record Number Races in Pacific Palisades’ Turkey Trot

About 1,400 people joined with friends and neighbors for the fourth annual 5/10K Thanksgiving Turkey Trot that started and ended in the Palisades High School football stadium. This year’s title sponsor was Banc of California, which plans to open a branch office here in 2017.

Maren Meier, a seventh grader at Corpus Christi School, sang the National Anthem. The event began in 2013 as a way to bring residents together before they celebrated Thanksgiving dinners. Organizers David O’Connell and David and Dawn Houston have been instrumental in growing the race every year since then. Proceeds go to the Hearts of Hope Foundation.

(Left to right) Henry and Katie Moray, Jennie, Molly and Greg Porter, (front row) Jane (left) and Macaulay Porter ran in the Turkey Trot, wearing festive hats.

(Left to right) Henry and Katie Moray, Jennie, Molly and Greg Porter, (front row) Jane (left) and Macaulay Porter ran in the Turkey Trot, wearing festive hats.

“This is my third year of running the race,” Elisa Garrett said. “It’s a fun Thanksgiving experience and I know the money goes to Hearts of Hope.”

The men’s 5K winner (16:30) was Ramin Razavi, a former elite runner, who set a course record. In 2013, Bob Olds ran 16:48, in 2014 Matt Cohen went16:50 and in 2015 Cameron Posner ran 16:47.

Razavi recently moved to the Palisades from Boulder, Colorado, to become the new senior pastor at Calvary Christian Church. “I’m excited to be part of these kinds of community events,” he said. “It’s people coming together for the common good.”

Winning the women’s 5K race for the third time was Santa Monica High cross-country coach Tania Fischer with a time of 19:10. In 2014, she ran 18:47 and last year 19.05. (Sonali Pondiri won the 2013 race in 20:42).

“It’s a great local race,” said Fischer, who noted that some of her students had also competed in the Turkey Trot. Melea Comay, who runs for SamoHi, was joined by her older brother Tim, who took first in the 10K in 35:43.

The women’s 10K winner is still a bit of a mystery. Online race results showed Kaila Umeck as the winner in 37.28. Second place (40:31) was Chloe Malesky, who lives in Santa Monica and ran for Duke Univer- sity. Third was Brentwood’s Julie Farrugia (43:21), who started racing marathons while in college. The two were sure that one of the Porter girls (Jennie, Molly or Macaulay), Palisadians, had come in first. (5/10K runners all come through the same finish chute, making that determination more difficult).

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