Despite Thursday’s deluge, about 500 runners still got up Thanksgiving Day morning, put on their running gear — or turkey outfit — and participated in Oly Trot, a fun run that benefits the Thurston County Food Bank.
At least it didn’t snow, like it did in 2011, said race director Craig Dickson. And some said that even though runners were pounded by wind and rain, it felt warmer than last year’s trot.
The race is organized by the running group Guerilla Running of Olympia.
Participants were asked to donate food before the race. They also raise money for the food bank through entry fees, said Rachel Jamison, who helped organize the run.
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The morning began with a half-mile run for children, followed by a 4-mile run for adults.
Runners gathered at Heritage Park in downtown Olympia and then ran around Capitol Lake, up Columbia Street to the Capitol Campus, then down Columbia Street again to complete the run at Heritage Park.
Josiah Price, an avid runner from Olympia, crossed the finish line first.
Price, 35, who has been running seriously since he was 25, regularly participates in Oly Trot. He runs as often as twice a day and coaches-cross country and track at Tumwater High School.
He planned to spend the rest of Thanksgiving with his wife and two children, dining on smoked turkey and his favorite: sweet potatoes with marshmallows.
“I could eat that all day long,” he said.
Aviva Browning, 22, who teaches biology in Milwaukee, was the first woman to cross the finish line.
She ran track for Lewis & Clark College in Portland, so she enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of Oly Trot, she said.
Browning began running as a freshman in high school and said she loves the sport for its “feeling of accomplishment.”
Also completing the race was 11-year-old Logan O’Connell of Tumwater.
Logan, who suffers from a neurological ailment, mitochondrial disorder, was pushed through the race in a road stroller as part of Ainsley’s Angels of America, a national nonprofit group that seeks to include those with special needs into endurance events.
It was Logan’s second year to participate in the run, said his mother, Brandy.