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Special runner steps up for Turkey Trot

OCEANSIDE — There is still time to register for the eighth annual Pacific Marine Credit Union (PMCU) Oceanside Turkey Trot and join Candace Ransom, a runner who through charity fundraising helped overcome the tragic loss of her son Luke who was killed in a great white shark attack. Ransom will join the race, set for Thanksgiving morning, at 8 a.m. Nov. 28 starting at the Civic Center and finishes at the Pier area along the beach.Three years ago, Luke Ransom, a 19-year-old swimmer, runner and chemistry major at UC Santa Barbara, lost his life surfing at Surf Beach, an hour north of Santa Barbara, when he was attacked by a great white shark. Her son’s memory inspires Ransom to both run and work tirelessly for a charity in Luke’s honor. “Luke always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

Two years ago Ransom started ‘Medals of Courage,’ where runners throughout Southern California donate their race medals as an inspiration for strength, hope and courage to children fighting life-threatening illnesses.

“Oceanside holds a very special place in my heart,” she said. “This was the first beach we ever brought our two sons to as young children. Luke loved swimming and surfing in Oceanside and we called Oceanside our second home. This will be very special, running this race on Thanksgiving Day. A morning to reflect on how thankful I am to have shared so many wonderful years together here with Luke. A memory about all the time my son and I spent running together and training for races and watching the beautiful ocean sunsets together.

“It will also be a day to give thanks to be able to walk or run where there are so many children in hospitals who may never be able to run a race. I’d like to encourage runners to share their race medals with these children in hospitals as ‘Medals of Courage’ to cheer them on in their challenging journey.”

In addition to supporting ‘Medals of Courage,’ the PMCU Oceanside ‘Turkey Trot’ proceeds support the ‘Move Your Feet Before You Eat!’ Foundation, local Oceanside and North County Schools and additional participating non-profits. The ‘Turkey Trot’ functions as a group effort to help solve the healthcare crisis one stride at a time. The race allows participants to personally select their beneficiary from a wide variety of worthy non-profit organizations.

Runners traditionally get into the Thanksgiving Day spirit by dressing up in Thanksgiving-inspired costumes. There will be food, drinks and music at the race. Race finishers will be awarded medals that can be donated to ‘Medals of Courage’ on site and serve as a reminder that we all have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.

Visit for race day details and registration, becoming a volunteer or making a donation.


Candace Ranson, IMG_2982-21