Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Let’s Talk Turkey. Turkey Trot, That Is.

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November 17  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

ttrotcarlHere’s food for thought . . . Let’s talk turkey.  Turkey Trot, that is.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.  If you have a roof over your head, food on the table and a steady job or income, then let’s face it . . . you are blessed.

Sadly, there are several hundred thousand people in Silicon Valley – often our own neighbors – who are not so blessed.

We live in a Valley in which any given night nearly 10,000 people – including women and children – live on the streets or in our creeks.

We live in a Valley in which seniors, parents and kids make the awful choice on whether to pay their rent or afford food on any given day.

We live in a Valley in which health care is deferred or coverage is denied, as a luxury rather than the necessity that it is.

That’s why this Thanksgiving morning, I am asking you to join the Guardino family for our 12th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” in downtown San Jose.

For some it’s a race, a run or a walk.  For others, like me, it’s about building community and helping those in need. Whatever your motivation, sign up today.  Together, if we meet our goals, we will contribute $1 million to local families in need.  Go to svturkeytrot.com to register and know you have taken a step forward in helping others.

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Silicon Valley Turkey Trot: Eleven Years Later

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November 18  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino
race dir of the year

Carl Guardino named 2015 MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year.

Here’s food for thought . . . Most of us don’t give a second thought to where our next meal will come from.

But for a quarter million people who live in Silicon Valley, affording food, or shelter, or health care, is a daily concern.

To help those in need, and build community and begin our holidays in a fun and healthy way – 11 years ago my wife Leslee and I did something many entrepreneurs do in Silicon Valley . . . we took a risk: We founded the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, which I direct.

First, we found our form of venture capital. Thanks to Joe Pon and Applied Materials, we secured a title sponsor who shared our vision.

Second, we created advisors, with an executive steering committee of sponsors and partners who believed in the mission.

Third, we marketed to potential customers – race participants – who would carve out time on Thanksgiving morning before carving their turkey, to participate in our 5K, 10K or Kids Fun Run.

Four, we looked for successful charities serving our community that would benefit from the proceeds of the Turkey Trot – charities that help with health, hope and a home.

That first year was scary. A week before the race we had only a couple of hundred registrations. Then, on race morning, we were deluged with hundreds of walk-on registrations, and ended up with 1,900 paid participants, raising $88,000 for local charities helping neighbors in need.

Since 2012 – year 9 of our Turkey Trot – we have been the largest timed Turkey Trot in the world. This year, we are stretching ourselves to attract 28,000 paid participants, so that we can donate $1 million to help even more in need in our Valley.

You and your family can help us achieve that goal. All you need to do is sign up, and show up. Please start with step one today, sign up at svturkeytrot.com.

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What have you done for me lately?

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January 7  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . “What have you done for me lately?”

The calendar has flipped from 2014 to 2015. At the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we closed out 2014 with several solid successes:

  • BART funding from the California Transportation Commission, which I Chair, was completed, for a total of $760 million. The extension is under-budget and a year ahead of schedule.
  • Our Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, sponsored by Applied Materials, brought together 26,000 neighbors to celebrate Thanksgiving morning together – generating more than $900,000 to help needy local families.
  • The state water bond, Proposition 1, passed in November with the help of the Leadership Group, and incredible leadership by Governor Brown.

But life is about looking forward, not back.

This year, our goals are equally ambitious, and will be presented in a comprehensive way in the days ahead. But hear is a glimpse of what’s to come:

  • Housing and homelessness – the Leadership Group will step up its historic role.
  • Traffic relief – BART and Caltrain, along with other road improvements, are key.
  • Immigration, cyber, tax and patent reform – all federal priorities that must be tackled head-on.

Silicon Valley is an ambitious place, and we have many ambitious goals on our plate. Get on-board and join us. We have work to do.

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On the Move at Burnett

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November 26  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Mentors Matter.

This morning, at Burnett Middle School in downtown San Jose, Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo joined two world-class runners to meet with 300 students.

London 2012 Olympian Diego Estrada, who grew up in Salinas, CA, along with Texan running sensation Tia Martinez, are in town for our 10th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” but both of these poised professionals took time the day before their race to share their passion with students in the heart of San Jose.

Burnett Middle School students do not hail from wealthy homes. In fact, 8 of every 10 students qualify for the federal government’s free or reduced lunch program. The school has a rich history of serving poor students. I know, because my father – a first generation American born to a working class family of ten from Sicily – was also a student at Burnett Middle School in the 1940’s.

Yet what impressed me most about the morning was the enthusiasm of the kids. Eager and energized, they listened intently to Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo and two world-class athletes, then interacted directly with questions of their own. But the best was saved for last, when Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo, Diego Estrada and Tia Martinez led 300 students for a run around the school yard. These kids were “on the move with Mayor-Elect Sam,” and what a wonderful way to start their day.

Whether running professionally or running for office, these 300 kids directly experienced what can be achieved through hard-work, determination and passion. Yes, role models matter. But what mattered most was this simple lesson – “running” is great, but “serving” is better.

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No Excuse Not to Trot

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November 12  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

TT2013Here’s food for thought . . . There’s no excuse not to trot.

Turkey Trot, that is.

This Thanksgiving morning, November 27, we will host our 10th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” with an ambitious goal to give away $1 million to families in need throughout our Valley.

You and your family can help us achieve this audacious goal.

We often hear people say they are out-of-town on Thanksgiving, or that they are responsible for preparing the meal that morning. Fair enough. But this year there is no excuse not to participate. You can join us in spirit and still support our efforts to help needy families. When you register at svturkeytrot.com, we will save your race shirt and bib for a friend or family member to pick up or to claim after the race.

Inspired by U.S. Army Lieutenant Josh Splinter, who – for the past two years – has led a platoon in Afghanistan to participate in our Turkey Trot while thousands of miles away from home, we have “Remote Runners” from all around the world. We even have cyclists and swimmers who have signed up to support the Turkey Trot, while participating in their sports of choice on Thanksgiving Day.

So join us. Take a moment to register at svturkeytrot.com. Whether you run, bike, swim or simply sit on the couch with your remote control in hand, support those in need this year by signing up and joining us in spirit at our 10th Annual Turkey Trot. No excuses.

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The Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot”- Combining the Best With the Rest!

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July 30  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought . . . “turkey” will be well-represented at the London Olympics. Not the country, per se, but our own “turkey,” as in the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.

In just our first seven years, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot – held each Thanksgiving morning – has already served up at least 24 past and present Olympians participating in our elite race, with five athletes participating in this year’s London Olympics, several with bay area ties:

* Ryan Hall: the former Stanford stand-out, and 2nd place finisher in our 2006 Turkey Trot, will represent Team USA in the marathon.

* Shannon Rowberry: Born and raised in San Francisco, and 2nd place finisher in our 2007 Turkey Trot, will represent Team USA in the 1,500 meters.

* Diego Estrada: From Salinas, finished 3rd in last year’s Turkey Trot, and will race for his birth nation Mexico in the 10,000 meters.  Diego is now an American citizen, but USA Olympic rules require two years of citizenship before racing for his new country.

As we watch athletes from around the globe race in London this week, don’t forget that you can watch them even closer to home – or better yet, run or walk yourself – in downtown San Jose this Thanksgiving morning – at our own Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.  Register today at svturkeytrot.com.

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