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September 22, 2023

Run the Turkey Trot on Turkey Day

5K run/walk race in its 11th year again honors Drew Esquivel

The morning before that big Thanksgiving dinner, the annual Healdsburg Turkey Trot 5K race will give residents and visitors a chance to burn a few hundred calories and start the holiday season on a sound physical foundation. 

The Turkey Trot, now in its 11th year as a Healdsburg tradition, kicks off at 8am on Thursday, Nov. 24, in front of the Healdsburg Running Company, at 333 Center St. The run/walk course loops through the quiet streets of Healdsburg on a holiday weekend, and provides an appetite-building morning for walkers, runners and witnesses all.

Once again this year, the Healdsburg Turkey Trot supports the Drew Esquivel Memorial Scholarship, helping Healdsburg High student-athletes fulfill their dreams of going to college. Esquivel was a recent HHS grad when, in 2016, he was killed in Brooklyn, NY by an intoxicated off-duty police officer. He had been a straight-A student and a member of the wrestling team, and was at the time a student at MIT in computer science.

“Our family of five ran the Turkey Trot together in 2015,” said his mother, Susanne Esquivel. The next year, he was gone. “But our family and Sunrise Rotary are moving forward and working to bring good through the scholarship in his name. He was an exceptional student, athlete, and a cherished friend to his Healdsburg and MIT communities.” 

At MIT, the Esquivel Memorial Duals wrestling meet also honors his memory, to be held on Nov. 20 this year. The annual Drew Esquivel Memorial Golf Tournament is held at Tayman Park in the fall. 

“All of us were affected by the sudden, tragic passing of Drew Esquivel in 2016,” said Healdsburg Running Company founder Skip Brand. “He was a source of pride in the local community as a great athlete, friend and academic superstar.” 

Brand said the annual fun-run was a fitting time to “focus together on the future and grow his legacy so other Healdsburg student-athletes can follow in his footsteps.”

Each year, the Rotary Club of Healdsburg Sunrise awards a scholarship of up to $2500 to current student-athletes at Healdsburg High, and some of them receive additional support as they continue through college. 

Sponsorships and registrations support this scholarship, in partnership with the Healdsburg High School Interact Club. Support will also be provided to Healdsburg High Greyhound Boosters, supporting all Healdsburg High School athletes. 

Runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels are welcome. Awards are given to the top male and female finishers, as well as the top youth runners under the age of 13. Prizes are given at random for the costumes that have become a hallmark of this event.

Registration is being accepted in advance at 5ktrot.com. Information can also be found on Instagram @healdsburgturkeytrot and www.healdsburgrunningcompany.com.


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