Thanksgiving Family Mile Fun Run at Del Mar Racetrack to benefit Rancho Santa Fe’s Helen Woodward Animal Center

On Thursday, Nov. 27, Helen Woodward Animal Center will have much to be thankful for: The Thanksgiving holiday marks the inaugural Family Mile Fun Run held at the Del Mar Racetrack, with a portion of funds going towards the Center’s Therapeutic Riding Program.

In celebration, after the people-friendly one-mile run, adoptable pups will hold an adorable race of their own, with hopes of finding a forever family waiting at the finish line. The Family Mile Fun Run kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Del Mar Racetrack, with festivities going until 10 a.m. Then stay for horse racing with a special 11 a.m. post.

In the tradition of East Coast “Turkey Trots,” famous for getting families out from under the feet of those preparing the afternoon meal, the new San Diego tradition will gather groups and individuals on Thanksgiving morning to stretch their legs and test their speed on a real horse track. Many favorite Del Mar jockeys will also be running, jogging and walking!

Participants will receive racetrack admission, a fun run T-shirt, and the happiness of knowing that they are giving back with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Helen Woodward Animal Center’s equestrian therapy program for special-needs children and adults.

Other activities include kid-focused holiday craft-making, face painting, Thanksgiving Day hat-making with the Rad Hatter, entertainers, opportunity drawings, surprises for the whole family and, of course, the “Puppy Races Rescue Run.”

“We are so excited to be a part of this brand-new event,” stated Renee Resko, Helen Woodward Animal Center Vice President of Development. “We love being part of such a wonderful family activity, and we are so thankful that it will support our Therapeutic Riding Program and bring awareness to our orphan pets.”

Race entry for the Family Mile Fun Run is $25 for adult runners (16 and up) and $10 for junior runners (ages 4-15), with discounts for early registration. Children 3 and under are free. Parking is free for all. To register, visit

The Family Mile Fun Run is still seeking volunteers to help with the day’s festivities. All volunteers will receive an event T-shirt and four free passes to attend a summer meet! Contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Manager of Volunteer Services Megan McCarty at 858-756-4117, ext. 305.

Another way to add to the giving spirit is to bring a can or sealed bag of dog or cat food to donate to the center’s AniMeals Program. This program, which provides food to the pets of homebound elderly clients, is particularly poignant at a time when families gather around the dinner table. Often the pets of these clients are their only family, and a nutritious meal for a beloved furry friend means the world. To donate pet food, bring it to the Helen Woodward Animal Center booth on event day.

For more on Helen Woodward Animal Center, visit or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.