Pacific Palisades Turkey Trot Run, ‘Baked’ Version (Video)

Photos by Shelby Pascoe

About 1,200 people joined with friends and neighbors for the fifth annual 5/10K Thanksgiving Turkey Trot that took place on a record-hot morning. The race started and ended in the Palisades High School football stadium. This year’s event was sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway and Palisades Funding. 





          5K Women’s Winner: Fischer

Santa Monica High School cross-country coach Tania Fischer won for the fourth straight year, finishing in 18:54. She also won the 5K overall for the first time. Second place among the women went to Gwendolyn Twist, the Palisades High cross-country assistant coach, who ran 20:22.

“It felt great,” Fischer said. “It was a little hot. I like this race because I get a little workout before Thanksgiving, so I can eat my turkey and pie.” 

She added that the race is also a tune-up for the Cross-Country Nationals in Kentucky on December 9.

Twist used this race as the start of her training for the Phoenix Marathon in February.

Tania Fischer

          5K Men’s Winner: Sharpita

UCLA psychology professor Bruce Sharpita, 50, won the men’s 5K with a time of 19:07. Second was Leo Bilder, 15, (19:09), who runs cross country for Brentwood High School.

This was the second time that Sharpita, a Brentwood resident, has run the race. He ran alongside his family last year, but this time his family “let me go,” he said.

Bruce Sharpita

“It’s a pretty course, but lots of turns. It was very warm, making it hard to run today.”

Sharpita started running at his high school in Radnor, Pennsylvania, but now he mostly runs marathons and half-marathons. In December he plans to run the California International Marathon in Sacramento, where he broke three hours last year. 

Second place went to Leo Bilder, 15, (19:09), who runs cross country for Brentwood High School.

10K Men’s Winner: Rideout

Winning the 10K (35:02) was Palisadian Ken Rideout, 45, who took second last year. He was cheered on by his wife Shelby and their four children, Tensae, Jack, Luke and Cameron. “My time wasn’t great,” he said. “This is an incredibly tough course with a lot of turns and the climb up Temescal Canyon Road.”

Ken Rideout

Rideout played football and hockey at Framingham State (Massachusetts), and boxed competitively after college. His first running race was the 2009 New York Marathon, which he completed in three hours. This past March, he ran the L.A. Marathon in 2:40:13.

He tuned up for the Turkey Trot by winning the Malibu half-marathon in November (1:17:21). He usually runs marathons and half-marathons. “I really want to win the Tucson Marathon (December 9),” he said.

10K Women’s Winner: Stephenson

Palisadian Nell Stephenson had two firsts: this was her first Turkey Trot–and she won her division in 42:08. The author (“Paleoista,” “Paleo Diet Cookbook” and “Pocket Paleo”) said her first thought after winning the race was “I wish there were more water stops.”

A nutrition and fitness coach, Stephenson swam competitively as a child, but “I didn’t start to run until after I finished college [at USC]. I ran the New York Marathon in 1995 and had no clue about what I was doing.”

Nell Stephenson

She said she ran the first half of that race but then pulled a muscle and had to hobble her way through to the finish in a time that was over six hours. Now her marathon time is closer to three hours.

Stephenson also runs Iron Mans, but if she had to choose between that and marathons, “I’d pick running,” she said. “It [Turkey Trot] was a short race, but I pushed really hard, so it still hurts.”

She’s married to Chris Stephenson, who also runs marathons, Iron Man and 100-mile races. For more information, visit

John Fukunaga (left) and James O’Riordan joined in the “turkey” fun.
Declan Burke sang the National Anthem
This will be three-year-old Hudson Gallop third Turkey run, pushed in the stroller by father Dan.
“Turkey” David Houston led the way for the 1,200 people in the race.
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