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Thousands flock to Balboa Park for Father Joe's Villages Thanksgiving 5k

Thousands of San Diegans flocked to Balboa Park for Father Joe’s Village’s 21st Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K.

SAN DIEGO — Thousands of San Diegans flocked to Balboa Park for Father Joe’s Village’s 21st Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k presented by Aya Healthcare.

Some have said it is crazy to wake up early on a holiday to run a few miles, while others participate year after year.

"I would describe it as as being 'superhuman' because it takes a lot of courage to get up," said Benjamin Cisneros who works for Aya Healthcare and a 5K participant.

"I will say it takes a unique person to do it. It's not for everyone," laughs runner, Calvin Spargo. "We do this traditionally. This is the third year we are doing it and we have fun, so I came out to do it again."

"Those calories they get to consume later today; they burn them off ahead of time," laughs Deacon Jim Vargas, President and CEO of Father Joe's Villages.

Some runners found a way to stay warm since temperatures dropped to the low 50's early Thanksgiving morning. 

"We are not drunk. We are as sober as can be," laughs Daisy Swanson, runner.

And one of them is not only celebrating the holiday. 

"I just have my birthday!" cheers Sol Sharistin, runner. 

Father Joe’s Villages goal is to raise half a million dollars. Funds raised from the festive event will fund meals for families who are in times of need. You can still donate online by clicking here.

"I thank the CBS 8 viewers; they are always so helpful to us," said Vargas.

San Diegans united for prayer and later enjoyed live music and a beer garden at the finish line. It's a time to be grateful and remember what they are thankful for on this holiday.

"The main thing is my family. Everything else comes second," said Cisneros.

"I'm very grateful for what I have and my family," said Spargo.

"It's a season of showing that we are blessed and showing gratitude and help those that are less fortunate," said Vargas. 

"Thankful for our life today! We thankful we look great in our 60's!" said Swanson.

WATCH RELATED: Father Joe's Village giving away 900+ meals for Thanksgiving (Nov. 2022).




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