By Mary Lynne Vellinga
It's Thanksgiving week -- time to lace up those running shoes and join the throngs in the streets of east Sacramento for Run to Feed the Hungry. Keep reading for three tips to make the event easier.
More than 27,000 participants will brave the Thanksgiving morning chill this year to raise money for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. While lots of people actually run the 10K or 5K races, plenty of participants just stroll the course, which starts at California State University, Sacramento. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will kick off the race, as he did last year.
Attendance is actually down from its peak of 28,364 in 2009. Race director Rich Hanna blames competition from a plethora of turkey trots that have popped up around Northern California since he launched Run to Feed the Hungry in 1994.
Some people complain the race is just too crowded now, but for others, that's precisely the point: an impressive mass of humanity coming together to remember the less fortunate before celebrating their own good fortune later in the day.
If you go, here are some tips to make the experience more enjoyable:
1. Get a timing chip: Anyone who intends to take this run seriously will need to register ahead of time to get a timing chip. The chip adds $5 to the $35 adult or $20 child registration fee. People who don't possess chips won't be allowed in the starting corral for runners.
2. Register online; pre-registration deadline is midnight tonight: Even for walkers and runners who don't care about their times, pre-registration makes the morning a lot less hectic. Online registration is available until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, at www.runtofeedthehungry.com. Once that closes, you can still head to the Sacramento REI store at 1790 Expo Parkway to pre-register and pick up your packet. Those who don't pick up their packets in advance can do so between 7:30 and 9 a.m. on race day at Sac State.
3. Be prepared for a crowd. On race day, allow plenty of time for parking and also for exiting the Sac State campus after the race. The Sac State entrance on J Street will be closed. Come in the back way from Highway 50.
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