PIEDMONT -- More than 2,000 people opted to burn some calories before the Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 28 at the city's 12th annual Piedmont Turkey Trot -- a three-mile run and walk through the city's streets.
"Wow! What fun," said race organizer Marilyn Weber of the 2,304 runners who signed up.
That was up from the 2012 number of 1,800 runners. Proceeds from the event go to support Piedmont High's cross country and track programs. How much will go to the programs this year is still being tallied, but last year's event raised $15,000.
Mayor John Chiang, who runs every year, talked two fellow City Council members into participating -- Garrett Keating and Bob McBain. Chiang came in fifth in his 60-69 age category with a respectable 23:47.
"We had a quorum," kidded McBain at Monday's council meeting. The two also-rans didn't finish in the top tier, but had fun, they said.
"They changed the course," Keating said, joking, "It was a terrible photo op of us gasping for air running up Magnolia at the finish."
He and Chiang broke 8 minutes per mile, with Chiang being dubbed "the fastest man on council" by his fellow council members.
"He's a real runner," Keating said.
Keating was hobbling in the race after chasing their new puppy who bolted into traffic a few days before the race.
"Maybe realign the race so that it has a flat or downhill finish. You'll see a lot more smiling runners crossing the finish line," Keating said.
Top winners overall were Nathan Wantsler with 16:17 and Stephen Granger-Bevan with 16:24. Cities of origin were not available on the timekeeper's website, which had a different format this year.
For the female top finishers, Abby Steckel garnered a 20:12 for age 2-13; Katie Bird finished with 22:12 in 14-19 group; Taylor Smiley had a 20:02 for 20-29 group; Vanessa Meyers ran an 18:36 for 30-39-year olds.
Andrea Hamlin-Levin ran a 19:23 for 40-49 group, while Ann Thrupp clocked 21:48 for 50-59 group. Laury Fisher ran 26:16 for 60-69 group, while Lynn Saunders pulled a 24:47 for age 70 and over.
For the males top finishers, CJ Bowes ran a 20:41 for age 2-13 group; Brenden Gerrity clocked 18:29 for 14-19; Wantsler took the 20-29 group and overall with 16:17; Justin Banks garnered a 16:27 in the 30-39 group; Richie Boulet ran 16:39 in the 40-49 group; Douglas Higashi pulled a 20:31 for 50-59 year olds.
Chiang came in fifth with 23:47 in the 60-69 group, with Paul Tjogas first with 22:14. Dennis Watson took first place in 70 and over with 25:13.
Little 1-year-olds Kelly Teshima McCormick with a 29:45 and Owen Wilkening with a 29:50 took top prizes, while Vanessa Meyers was top female finisher overall with an 18:36.
All first-place winners received a pumpkin pie and a gift certificate, and other finishers got ribbons. Most of the runners also received Turkey Trot T-shirts.
The best two male and female costumed runners also got a pie.