Runners got a head start this weekend on burning off holiday calories by participating in a race that benefited two UCSB Recreational Sports funds.
Some 220 people turned out Saturday for Rec Sports’ 29th Annual Turkey Trot, featuring a 5K and 10K race that began at the campus lagoon. Registration fees, which were $20 per person on the day of the trot, went toward professional development opportunities for Rec Sports staff, as well as for the Jack Canfield Chicken Soup Student Medical Emergency Fund, which helps students with medical emergencies pay for educational, medical and housing expenses.
The course for the 5K race looped around the lagoon and the Manzanita Village area, while the 10k runners went on to run down Del Playa Drive and around West Campus.
The first place 5K winner for women was first-year business economics major Katie Voigtlander, while third-year film studies and business economics major Christine Bjelland won the 10K. As for the men’s races, Menso DeJong won the 5K and Jimmy O’Dea won the 10K.
First, second and third place winners of each event won Rec Sports windbreakers, duffle bags and water bottles.
Fourth-year political science major Ashley Welgan said she enjoyed the race even though she did not win.
“It is a beautiful course,” Welgan said. “Even though I came in like last place, I still had a great time.”
After finishing the course, runners and volunteers were rewarded with pizza, ice cream, fitness drinks and bagels. Participants were also automatically entered in a raffle for such prizes as gift certificates to Pita Pit, Zodo’s and Spectrum Gym memberships.
This year, Woodstock’s Pizza, Pascucci, Chipotle, McConnell’s Ice Cream and FRS Antioxidant Energy Drinks sponsored the event.
One race volunteer, third-year dramatic arts major Jay Izhar, said she enjoyed helping out.
“I like seeing all the different kinds of people who show up, cheering for them, and the free food from sponsors,” Izhar said.
UCSB Recreational Sports started the Turkey Trot in 1978. Participants include members from the local community, visitors and students while fitness levels ranged from walkers to competitive runners.