More than 1,000 people gathered in The Streets of Brentwood shopping complex Thanksgiving morning to make room for the dinners they would be enjoying later by participating in the 8th annual Brentwood Turkey Trot 5K run.
“This is a fantastic fundraiser,” said Dana Eaton, the superintendent of the Brentwood Union School District and one of the event organizers. “Not only does it raise funds for multiple school districts — because it’s a joint effort between the Brentwood school district and the Liberty High School district — but it’s also something that’s healthy and good for everybody that participates.”
The Nov. 25 race, which began at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the AMC movie theater, serves as an annual joint fundraiser for the Brentwood Union School District and the Liberty Union High School District to support their physical education and athletics programs. All of the profits from the event — roughly $50,000 for the 2021 run — are funneled back into the programs to fund things that the schools would not normally be able to afford through their traditional budgets, according to Eaton. For the elementary schools, this means investing in new equipment for activities like disc golf, while the high schools are able to buy new team uniforms and equipment such as pole vaulting gear that would be too expensive to replace otherwise.
Since its inception, the Brentwood Turkey Trot has drawn in people from all over the far East Bay because the nearest similar event being in Walnut Creek. This year’s event had 1,515 entrants sign up, with 85 of those participating virtually. The route for the in-person Turkey Trot began in the Streets of Brentwood by the movie theater, snaking around through the shopping center before leading runners onto the surrounding streets, which were closed for the duration of the event. The first runner to complete the 3.1-mile course was Dylan Baptista of Brentwood with a time of 16 minutes and 12 seconds. Behind him were Wyatt Erickson of Oakley and Calvin Richey of Brentwood. Jiana Cortero of Oakley was the first female finisher in 18:35.
“The Turkey Trot has very quickly become a Brentwood Thanksgiving tradition for families,” Eric Volta of the Liberty Union High School District wrote on the event’s website. “ It is the perfect fundraising activity being that it is a fun and healthy family activity that raises money for fun and healthy activities for students."
More information about the Brentwood Turkey Trot, including the full results of the 2021 event, can be found at www.brentwoodturkeytrot.org