By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux
Featured photo: The annual in-person Thanksgiving race at Rancho Mission Viejo is back on for 2021. Image courtesy of Rancho Mission Viejo.
Once you finish chowing down on turkey—or even beforehand if you want to work up an appetite—you’re welcome to head to Rancho Mission Viejo on Thanksgiving for the community’s fifth annual Turkey Trot.
The fun race will revert to its usual in-person format at The Ranch, after having to pivot to a self-guided individual format last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a beloved Thanksgiving Day tradition for many individuals and families, and we’re very excited to welcome people back for in-person races this year. Participants will be able to choose from two races, a 5K and the 1K Little Gobbler’s run,” said Amaya Genaro, Vice President of Community Services for RMV. “Our 5K starts in the Village of Esencia and winds its way through the beautiful topography of The Nature Reserve to the Village of Sendero. Sendero Field hosts our 1K run.”
Participants can register at turkeytrotontheranch.com. The 5K is from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and costs $45, while the Little Gobbler’s Run is from 10-10:30 a.m and costs $15. Volunteer opportunities are also available if people want to help with runner registration, hand out water and snacks along the course, or assist with event parking.
The Turkey Trot is a “great way” for the runners to bond with family members, connect with neighbors, and take part in a healthy event. Donations collected through the event directly benefit The Nature Reserve at RMV, which is an outdoor preserve that hosts educational events for local students and community hikes—among other events.
“The Nature Reserve connects Orange County residents, young and old alike, to nature. It’s a beautiful and wild place that teaches us how to properly care for the land, and also helps foster an appreciation for the land,” said Genaro. “At The Ranch, we have always been guided by, ‘Take care of the land, and the land will take care of you.’ ”
To date, $70,000 has been raised to support The Nature Reserve’s public school program.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at email@example.com