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Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

Kinane Events Hands Baton to San Diego Running Co.

SPORTS: O'side Turkey Trot's Economic Impact Is More Than $1M

Longtime special event organizer Kathy Kinane will be running in the O’side Turkey Trot for its 18th rendition this fall, but she will no longer be running the event.

Kathy Kinane
Kinane Events

Since 1991, Kinane, the co-founder and owner of Kinane Events and also a co-founder of Elite Racing, has organized thousands of participatory running events, including the popular Thanksgiving Day morning walk/run that is recognized by Runner’s World magazine as one of the top trots in the country.

Late last month, the 64-year-old Carlsbad resident formally sold the rights to the O’side Turkey Trot – a race she has directed from the start, and the one that carries her the catchphrase “Move Your Feet Before You Eat” – to San Diego Running Co., another mover and shaker in the event planning world.

Financial details of the deal, approved and sealed at the Oceanside City Council meeting on June 21, were not publicly shared. The O’side Turkey Trot drew 2,300 runners and walkers in its inaugural event in 2006 and had its largest crowd of 9,900 participants in 2015.

The O’side Turkey Trot is an economic driver for Oceanside. An economic impact report by Visit Oceanside says the race annually brings more than $1 million to the city by way of lodging, food, transportation needs and more.

Leslee Gaul
President & CEO
Visit Oceanside

“It’s a good little bump for a long weekend on Thanksgiving,” said Visit Oceanside President and CEO Leslee Gaul. “It’s great for our local economy.”

San Diego Running Co. team, headquartered in Pacific Beach, will take over all operations, management and marketing for the O’side Turkey Trot 5M 5K Run/Walk – planned for Thursday, Nov. 23 this year.

Since Kinane and O’side Turkey Trot co-founder Richard Muscio launched the event, the race has welcomed more than 100,000 runners and raised nearly $500,000 for local charities.

Eric Marenburg
San Diego Running Co.

San Diego Running Co., was co-founded by Maryland transplants Eric Marenburg and Pete Hess, dedicated runners who through their company help others stay active, quit their day jobs and launched their company in 2013 and have been running with it – literally and figuratively – ever since.

The company’s San Diego Santa Run, entering its 11th year, drew more than 4,500 runners last year and Marenburg and Hess expect 5,000 or more this winter for what was recently voted USA Today’s “Best Fun Run.”

Pete Hess
San Diego Running Co.

San Diego Running Co.’s annual America’s Finest Corporate Dash on June 22 drew about 50 teams and hundreds of runners from the business community to Liberty Station for a 5K race to benefit the nonprofit Firefighter Aid, managed by San Diego Fire Relief Association.

Its Pacific Beach Half Marathon and 5K, coming in October to the Mission Bay area, is one of its most successful. It draws 10% from out-of-state participants, and Marenburg and Hess say they are expecting to pick up the pace with a nearly 25% growth in registrations this year.

Marenburg said the company drew 25,000 participants for its 10 events last year. He said depending on the size of the event and number of corporate sponsorships, it can cost his company anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 for larger events.

In its 2022 Annual Industry Report, RunSignup, the largest registration platform for endurance and peer-to-peer fundraising events, found that while per-race participation is 10% below pre-pandemic levels of 2019, it is cautiously optimistic about expansion in the endurance industry in 2023, noting “it’s a slow and steady marathon, not a mile sprint.”

Kinane said while she is retiring from the managing and production of event, she may do a little consulting for others. “With San Diego Running Co., the future looks bright… and now I can put more energy into our Move Your Feet Before You Eat Foundation,” she said.

Since its inception in 2007, Kinane’s foundation has donated nearly $450,000 to local schools and nonprofits in San Diego’s North County.

Like Kinane, San Diego Running Co. keeps its business and nonprofit relationships running strong.

Road Runner Sports and Belmont Park are close business associates, and San Diego Running Co. also counts Discover Pacific Beach, Team Hoyt San Diego and FirefighterAid as key nonprofit partners. Its clients include Parkinson’s Association of San Diego and San Diego Track Club.

San Diego Running Co.

FOUNDERS: Eric Marenburg and Pete Hess
BUSINESS: Race management
REVENUE: $1 million
EMPLOYEES: 2 FT, 4 PT and weekend teams of 10-12
WEBSITE: sandiegorunningco.com
CONTACT: info@sandiegorunningco.com
SOCIAL IMPACT: San Diego Running Co. events have helped raise $300,000 for San Diego-based nonprofits through its 10 years of existence
NOTABLE: From this acquisition, San Diego Running Co. is now the largest local race management by total participa


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