Race Around the One-Mile Track with Your Family at the Del Mar Family Fun Run Before Enjoying Thanksgiving Festivities
Enter the Del Mar Family Fun Run online. There is an easy sign-up page where you can order your T-shirt and register for the 1 mile run that happens every Thanksgiving morning at the Del Mar Racetrack. Friends and family (along with some racetrack jockeys) gather together to jog or walk around the actual racetrack, that way they won’t feel too bad eating until they are stuffed later on in the day. I registered the three people in my family that would be in here in San Diego Thanksgiving morning, and warned them we’d be getting up early.
Wake up early. This was never in my Thanksgiving plans growing up, but this year I finally decided was the year I needed to get my family up early and get us going, doing something active before we veg out in front of the TV all day. We woke up around 6:15am and got dressed for the race. It was really chilly outside, so my son Ky and I wore pants and a jacket. (Only to find out later we should’ve also brought hat and mittens!)
Park at the Del Mar Racetrack for FREE. This is not usual for an event at the track, but parking for the Family Fun Run is FREE, and not as many people come to run as they do to bet on horses, so the parking lot isn’t terribly full. We parked easily and walked up to the clubhouse, where we signed in and received our T-shirts.
Enjoy the pre-race and post-race festivities. You and your family can enjoy the other aspects of the event before or after the race, but our family chose before, since we got there early enough. We got a stamp card to collect stamps from each table and in the end, won a prize. Each table had a different, silly game to play or craft to create. We had fun tossing bean bags, guessing amounts of candy corn, and stick horse racing. I also helped my son make a construction-paper-pumpkin-pie with a cool-whipped-cotton-ball topping, and a Native American headdress. We met some animals at the Meet-an-Animal station, and Ky got to pet a blue-tongued skink, along with a chicken and a rabbit! We both filled up our stamp cards and headed to the prize table, where I traded mine in for a Tootsie Roll and my son traded his for a small pumpkin.
Grab a quick snack and water. KIND was there with granola bars of all kinds to get people warmed up for the race. I tried a Dark Chocolate Chunk KIND bar, and it was delicious. They had a table of water bottles also for those who did not bring their own. My son found some of his friends and ran off to see the puppies that Helen Woodward had brought for a puppy race following the actual human race. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly where he was since it was such a big crowd, but everyone was friendly and it was pretty easy to find our way around. Tip: Make sure you bring extra warm clothes. It is not that long of a race, and you can tie your sweatshirt around your waist and put your hat/gloves in your pocket if you get too warm when you’re getting ready to run. We didn’t bring any extra warm clothes and were cold, so make sure to dress warm!!
Unleash your inner racehorse. At 8:00am sharp, they began the race, and we started jogging a bit, but my son ran ahead, so my fiancé Patrick and I walked most of the way. Ky ended up running the whole way, and had a bright red face by the time Patrick and I caught up. We had taken a leisure pace, enjoying the event with many other families. The track even had a stroller lane for those pushing their little ones, and faster runners went up ahead so it wasn’t super crowded. By the time we got back, the puppy race was just about to begin! I still hadn’t found Ky, so Patrick went to look for him while I recorded the puppy race on video. The puppies were adorable, and were not too excited about racing. Most of them just stayed down in their starting blocks, looking around for anyone that would pet them. One puppy actually made it to the end and everyone cheered! We finally found Ky with his race shirt and jacket off, sweating and explaining how he had run the entire race. I was so proud!
Stay to watch the horse races at a special early 11:00am post time! We had to get going for other Thanksgiving festivities after the race, but the track is always a fun time, and on Thanksgiving the first horse race starts at 11:00am. If your family has some extra time in the day, stick around to enjoy the races, and pick out your favorite race-winning horses! My son had never actually been to the track, (usually when Patrick and I go, it’s for an event and not with the family) so we will be coming back soon for a family day at the races!
Tell your friends all about the run while you eat all the food you possibly can without feeling guilty. Hey, you got up early and walked over a mile in the chilly cold weather! You’re allowed to eat whatever you want after a feat like that! Participation alone is worth the guilt-free feeling, and if you jogged at all, well add on another piece of pumpkin pie! Make sure to tell your friends and family all about the Del Mar Family Fun Run, and put it in your calendar for next year! It is a San Diego event not to be missed!