Thanksgiving 1994 saw 796 runners enter the first Run to Feed the Hungry race in Sacramento. Thanksgiving 2014 saw 28,500 runners, many wearing reflective running vests and reflective belts, raise over $900,000 for the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. This amount is an amazing 20% of the Food Bank’s annual budget, which will go towards parenting and nutrition classes and job training. 9,344 turkeys were also donated during the week before the race, so those in need could have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
There was an option of a 5km run/walk or a 10 km run. The entry fee ranges from $20 to $45, depending on age and how close to the actual race you register. Once you have entered and paid your fee, it will not be returned to you under any circumstances! The winners in various categories will receive $300 in prize money which they will be encouraged to donate back to the organisation – it is a charity event after all. Entrants entered into the spirit of things by dressing up in true Thanksgiving style – turkey costumes, roast turkey dinner hats and turkey feet.
AND THE WINNER IS...
Believe it or not, the winner is from Kenya, in a time of 33:29. Jane Kibii is from Iten, which produced runners such as Ibrahim Hussein, Peter Rono and David Rudisha. Jane lives in Colfax and is believed to be a strong contender in December’s Californian International Marathon. Jane didn’t even have time to stay and collect her prize as she had to rush off and run in another race. That other race was the 5 km run at the same event. Kibii had an eleven minute break after finishing the 10 km run before starting the 5 km run. She ran as if it was her first race of the day, winning in a record time of 16:03. Her comment was, “I just wanted to get in some speed work: it was a good workout.” Some of the 5 km runners were decidedly put out by her entry into both races. The first male to cross the finishing line in the 10 km race was Malcolm Richards in a time of 30.36, which was over two minutes quicker than the guy who came second.
THE BIGGEST TURKEY RACE IN THE STATES
The Sacramento Run to Feed the Hungry is the largest race in the States. The runner up is San Jose, where 20,000 runners usually take part. The oldest race takes place in Buffalo, N.Y. and is enjoyed by everyone who loves running in the snow.
TEAMS AND PARTYING
Even though lots of individual runners enter the race, there are lots of companies and organisations that put together teams. Wells Fargo had 611 runners in this year’s race and over 500 runners entered from the Christian Brothers High School. Many people who came to cheer on the competitors were partying in neighbourhood bars and restaurants and some just partied on the street. It was an extremely festive occasion enjoyed by participants, volunteers and supporters alike.