Thousands of runners to participate in Thanksgiving Day races

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SAN DIEGO – A pair of Thanksgiving Day runs scheduled Thursday in downtown San Diego and Balboa Park will help support worthy causes.

The San Diego Run for the Hungry will include 5K and 10K courses in downtown, beginning at 7 a.m. in Broadway Circle adjacent to Horton Plaza.

The event will benefit programs at the San Diego Food Bank and Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Participants are asked to bring canned food and non-perishables to donate at the event. Organizers said the most-needed items are peanut butter, canned meat like chicken or tuna, canned fruit or vegetables, infant formula, canned soup, and dried goods such as oatmeal or pasta.

A post-race party will take place at The Local, 1065 Fourth Ave.

At 7:30 a.m., the 15th annual Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K will raise money to pay for meals for San Diego’s homeless.

Around 7,500 runners are scheduled to tackle a course that starts near Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street on the west side of Balboa Park and continues to the finish on El Prado in front of the lily pond.

A post-race festival at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion will include live blues music, a pancake breakfast and costume contest.

Father Joe’s Villages provides around 1 million meals to the homeless each year in San Diego.