MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Approximately 1,100 people gathered at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Nov. 18 to participate in the annual Turkey Trot, a five-kilometer run around MCRD.
Marine Corps Community Services and Semper Fit conducts an annual race series as part of the Commanding General’s Cup. The Turkey Trot is the last in the series.
“We try to get a little bit of every athletic type in the CG’s Cup,” said Kelley Sitar, Semper Fit deputy director. “We have sports from horseshoes to badminton, but we don’t have any track and field. The fun runs are the closest we can get to that.”
If a command simply enters the race, they earn eight participation points. If they have at least one female enter, the get another eight participation points. They also receive points based on the outcome of the race. These points are combined with the participation points for a final score. If they are first they receive twelve points, second earns eight and third earns four towards their overall CG Cup score.
“The fun run series helps promote combat readiness, leadership, teamwork and morale,” said Sitar. “Every year we hope to have a smoothly run event where the participants leave with a greater sense of community pride and personal accomplishment.”
Active duty Marines, sailors, coast guard personnel, dependents, reservists, retirees and civilian personnel were encouraged to participate in the Turkey Trot and all other CG Cup events.
Before the run began, the depot’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo challenged participants to beat his flag and group across the finish line.
“My favorite part of the Turkey Trot was that I finished the run just before the flag and CG crossed the finish line,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Delgado, administrative clerk, Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion. “It made me feel good about myself because I achieved another goal for myself.”
All racers received a T-shirt, turkey sandwich, chips and a drink at the finish.
“This is the ninth year we have professionally timed the race,” said Sitar. “But, it had been a run just for fun for 20 years before that.”
Some participants use the times they received here as qualifying times for Marine Corps teams.
The first three racers to finish this year’s Turkey Trot were Corey Duquette, finishing with a time of 16:05; Ricky Bovee, finishing at 17:06; and Roscoe Milner, finishing at 17:23.
This year’s youngest participant was Jovanni Jimenez, a one-year-old boy, who finished at 35:50. The oldest participant was Barbara Gregorio, an 82-year-old woman, who finished at 47:19.
Among the participants who were running individually, some groups ran in formation with their unit. The Recruiter’s School and Drill Instructor School were among those who did.
“I ran the Turkey Trot with my fellow Drill Instructor School brothers and the students,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Roseman, administrative chief, Support Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment. “The whole thing was great. I love doing these runs; I would definitely participate next year.”
The Turkey Trot not only consisted of a run. There were 16 vendors and sponsors at the start and finish area, to include the depot Substance Abuse Counseling Center’s “Great American Smoke-Out,” where people could pledge to be smoke-free for a day or for the rest of their lives.
There was also a food drive collection point for the families in need aboard MCRD. According to Sitar, the food collected was put together on shelves and families that were nominated by their commands could “go shopping” for food Nov. 22.
Participants could also enter into a pumpkin pie eating contest. Contestants were not allowed to use their hands to eat their pie, and had to eat every bit of pie including the crust.
The person who finished their pie first and showed the judges that they had swallowed the last bit won a movie bundle, which consisted of two tickets to any AMC movie theatre, popcorn and two sodas. They also received one free drink at the Starbucks on base.
“The pie eating contest was a really fun event,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Moran, postal chief, Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion. “I had problems finishing the pie about halfway through and really towards the end, but I wanted to beat the rest of the people at the table. My motivation was winning.”
Moran was the winner of the pie eating contest.
The next and final event for this year’s CG’s Cup is the field meet slated for Dec. 9. After the field meet is completed and final points are tallied, the depot’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, will present the Commanding General’s Cup of Excellence to the most competitive command this year.