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37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot

We ran as a guest of the Dana Point Turkey Trot

I had the wonderful opportunity of running in the Dana Point Turkey Trot with two of my children on Thanksgiving morning this year. This was my first experience with this race and I was very pleased.



We arrived bright and early at 6:00am since I ran in the 10K that began at 7:00. Packet pick up was well-organized and we were able to get our shirts and race bibs without any trouble. The option for pick up the day before was there, but we weren’t able to make it then. Race morning pick up is a really nice option – especially for out-of-town racers. Since The Dana Point Turkey Trot is the #3 Thanksgiving Day destination according to Fodor’s Travel I’m sure they have plenty of racers coming from out-of-town.


This year’s race events included a 10K, 5K masters, costume contest, Open 5K, and kids 1 mile gobble wobble – along with the race Expo where a variety of vendors were sampling and selling their products. I opted to the combo 10K/5K while my 12-year-old son & 10-year-old daughter ran the 5K with me instead of doing the kids races, since our family has run several 5Ks together over the past year.


ready to run!

Each race began with a quick pre-race warm up led by Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame followed by the National Anthem sung by a local SOCSA student from Dana Hills High. The mayor of Dana Point also helped kick of the morning festivities. The courses began & ended on Dana Point Harbor Drive and wound around the Harbor and beach area. The location provides for great running weather and beautiful vistas along the course. It’s a fairly flat course with some nice rollers that are just enough to add variety to the course without being a problem for runners who haven’t trained for hills.


About a half mile from the finish

This year the Turkey Trot donated proceeds from the race to the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley, Doheny Beach Interpretive Association, and Family Assistant Ministries – all local charities. Since its inception, the Dana Point Turkey Trot has donated over a half million dollars to local charities. Now that’s a race you want to support!



After crossing the finish line, each participant received a finisher’s medal. Photos were taken along the course and at the finish by Marathon Photo. Water bottles, sports drinks, bananas, and almond butter were freely available for finishers to refuel. This was a wonderful way to start our Thanksgiving Day.

For info on next year’s Dana Point Turkey Trot visit You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Julie is an OC Supermom to five beautiful children in Orange County. She is active in her children’s school, the community and enjoys running in her free time.
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