All those interested in doing some pre-emptive Thanksgiving-dinner damage control are encouraged to head down to the lagoon tomorrow morning for the 31st Annual Turkey Trot.

Saturday’s event, hosted by the UCSB Recreation Department, will feature three races: a 5-kilometer walk, a 5k run and a 10k run. This year’s event is being held to commemorate the life of Chad Briner, a UCSB fourth-year sociology major and Rec Sports staff member who died Sept. 7.

Both of the 5k races are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, and will follow a trail around the lagoon. The 10k run is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m., and will follow a course around the lagoon and through the streets of Isla Vista, before looping back to finish at the start.

Last year’s race attracted 200 trotters, and organizers expect an equally successful turnout for this year’s event.

A number of local businesses are sponsoring tomorrow’s race and will be providing free food for participants to gobble down, as well as prizes for both first-place winners and winners of the various raffles held throughout the races.

All proceeds raised through registration fees — which are $20 for students and $30 for non-students — will go towards the Chad Briner Student Staff Development Fund, Office Manager for Recreation Sports Cathleen Clarke said.

“The fund basically sends students to conferences and different activities that would promote Recreation Sports leadership,” Clarke said.

Chad Briner Student Staff Development Fund also helps expand leadership roles in the Rec Sports office through workshops aimed at strengthening the recreation sports programs and helping staff members continue to put on various activities, such as the Turkey Trot.
Rec Sports Director Paul Lee said Briner — who started the Rec Sports Web site — played an important role in the department during his time at the university.

“[Briner] found his niche in [the] program, and liked the philosophy that the program was trying to cater to 99 percent of the population [at UCSB],” Lee said.

UCSB Recreational Sports started the Turkey Trot in 1978. Participants include local community members, visitors and students, with fitness levels ranging from walkers to competitive runners.