Many Winners Are Returning Runners Who Enjoy the Annual Experience

Oceanside, Calif. – Winning runners/walkers at the 12th Annual Pacific Marine Credit Union O’side Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day said running strategies mixed with enjoyment of the course fueled their victories.

The event, presented by Tri-City Medical Center, played out in warm weather under sunny blue skies against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The 10K, 5K Run/Walk and Kids Run brought together experienced racers, newcomers, families and friends.

Okwaro Raura, a 42-year-old Oceanside resident, finished first overall in the Men’s 10K Run/Walk with a 33:13 time. Raura came in at 33:12 last year.

“I felt good while running the Oceanside Turkey Trot because of the environment and the people,” Raura said. “I enjoyed the race because of the competition, support from family and friends and the community. My strategy for continued success in this race is respecting all the participants as well as competitors. I approach this race like any other race, with good preparation on what may come.”

Meriah Earle, a 39-year-old Escondido resident, finished first in the Women’s 10K Run/Walk (Overall) with a 36:29 time, besting her time last year of 37:41.

“I was definitely nervous at the start,” Earle said. “I’ve been recovering this fall from Achilles tendinitis and this was my first race back. I enjoy every race once it’s over (laughing), but what’s special about the Oceanside Turkey Trot is the support you get during the race from both the spectators and the other runners. In fact, one runner, while passing me the last 1/2 mile, was cheering me on so enthusiastically it really got me psyched for that final long stretch to the finish. I never did get a chance to thank him. Really though, everyone is so excited to be running in turkey hats you can’t help but smile during this race.”

Earle said her original strategy was to run a solid tempo run and just stay comfortable.

“That went out the window when we ran the first mile in 5:30,” she said. “At that point, I was just trying to stay close to the leader until my legs told me it was time to go.”

Ryan Place-Ryan, a 32-year-old La Jolla resident, won the Men’s 5K Run/Walk (Overall) with a 14:59 time.

“I’m new to the SD area, and still partially reside in Boston, but my wife, Liz Place-Ryan, started grad school at UCSD a year ago, and she got second at the race on Thursday, so hopefully I’ll soon be a local with the running scene,” he said. “I’ve long known that racing the morning of Thanksgiving makes the rest of the traditional holiday celebrations 10 times more enjoyable, and multiple teammates suggested that the Oside Turkey Trot was well run and had good competition. After participating in the event, I completely agree. The race was certainly well organized; it almost seemed too easy to show up, park, get my race bib, and carry on with my pre-race warm-up routine before getting to the front of the start line with time to spare.”

Place-Ryan said he started out with “a pretty conservative game, and tried to shadow whomever wanted to lead. A little after the mile, a guy put on a little pace surge and managed to get daylight on the rest of us in the lead pack.”

He said he didn’t take the lead until just before the final turnaround.

“Once I took the lead, I just tried to maintain my form through the last 3/4 mile and hope that’d be enough to break the tape,” Ryan-Place said. “The race would’ve been enjoyable without the victory, but it’s always a fun feeling whenever you allow yourself to access that little bit of excitement that comes with challenging for the win of anything.”

Molly Grabill, a 35-year-old Boulder, Colo. resident, won the Women’s 5K Run/Walk (Overall) with a 17:02 time.

“I had a really fun time at the Oside Turkey Trot,” Grabill said. “It is amazing to see the whole community come together, and to recognize so many of those faces out there makes it special.”

Grabill said her strategy was to stay patient.

“I started out a little farther back on the start line than I was hoping, so I just tried to methodically move up throughout the race,” she said. “Once I got onto the boardwalk I tried to finish strong.”

The day before Thanksgiving, physician Richard Pfeiffer, 66, completed the Tri-City Medical Center Senior 1 Mile Run in 6:31.

“I was behind most of the way but able to make a move near the end,” he said. “I feel fortunate – there were some really runners out there with me today.”

Men’s 10K Run/Walk (Overall):

1     – Okwaro Raura 33:13

2     – Edgar Romero 34:15

3     – Ryan Vilas 34:37


Women’s 10K Run/Walk (Overall):

1      – Meriah Earle 36:29

2      – Lindsey Drake 36:39

3      – Whitney Patton 37:14


Men’s 5K Run/Walk (Overall):

1-   Ryan Place-Ryan 14:59

2-   Joshua Litwiller 15:01

3-   Collin Jarvis 15:18


Women’s 5K Run/Walk (Overall):

1-   Molly Grabill 17:02

2-   Elizabeth Place-Ryan 17:32

3-   Marisa Ryan 17:38


Tri-City Medical Center Senior 1 Mile Run (Men)

1-     Richard Pfeiffer 6:31

2-    George Greco 6:37

3-    Don Brown 7:04


Tri-City Medical Center Senior 1 Mile Run (Women)

1-   Vickie Griffin 9:24

2-   Lisa Hamilton 11:00

3-   Anne Garrett 11:01


Tri-City Medical Center Senior 1 Mile Walk (Men)

1-   Ron Finch 10:51

2-   Jerry Small 17:24

3-   Ernesto Balcita 17:29


Tri-City Medical Center Senior 1 Mile Walk (Women)

1-   Nanci Hernandez 14:10

2-   Diane Jameson 14:11

3-   Barbara Mitchell 14:17


Complete results at: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-34941

For more information, please visit www.osideturkeytrot.com or call (760) 434-5255.