With improved air quality comes last-minute sign-ups for Silicon Valley's Turkey Trot

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 20,000 runners and walkers are picking up their bibs and their t-shirts, but that number is about 5,000 shy of what it should be for the annual Turkey Trot in Silicon Valley.

Worries over unhealthy air or even a possible cancellation appears to have caused some people to hold off registering.

That's not an issue now, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, which started this charity event 14 years ago, is seeing last-minute sign-up's from people such as Fareen Khaja.

"Absolutely, yes. I wouldn't be doing it if the weather wasn't getting better," she said. "I haven't been even taking my baby out for a walk."

RELATED: What's open and what's closed in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend

After four straight years of approaching $1 million raised, this was the year the goal was set to top the million dollar mark. Five major non-profits share the money, including the Health Trust, the Healthier Kids Foundation, Second Harvest Food Banks serving three counties, and the Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

"The Turkey Trot provides nearly all of the funding for our Finally Home program, which provides security deposits to homeless men, women and children to get them off of the streets and into safe and stable housing over the year," said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

The 5K and 10K runners and 5K walkers got the weather break they wanted.

"We decided this morning that no matter what, we would run," said first-time entrant Bianca Gruetter of Los Gatos. "We're all in."

That includes her 10 and 12-year-old daughters with their grandparents joining them at the finish line.

RELATED: Poor air quality puts temporary stop to Bay Area this holiday season

Now they want to see a surge in last-minute registrations, so together they can burst through that million dollar mark.

"So for anyone who's been procrastinating, we still are taking registrations online at svturkeytrot.com, or people can register right on race site up until and even past the start of the race at 8:30," said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

We have more information on Thanksgiving events here.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.