Race History

Race History

On Thanksgiving morning, 2004, Carl and Leslee Guardino heard a radio report announcing “20,000 people downtown running and walking to benefit the needy” in Sacramento. Carl turned to Leslee and said, “Somebody ought to do a race like that here.” Leslee gave Carl that look that said, “Maybe that somebody should be us.”

Reaching out to Bob Brownstein at Working Partnerships, a think-tank arm of the Central Labor Council, a partnership was formed. Several months later, a major milestone occurred when Joe Pon of Applied Materials successfully championed to the company the idea of Applied serving as the Multi-Year Title Sponsor.  With a title sponsor, and then several branded co-sponsors, the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot “was born.

Three great local charities serving local residents –   Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Housing Trust Silicon Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties – were initially selected as multi-year beneficiaries, and a volunteer Executive Steering Committee started planning the first race, set for Thanksgiving Day, 2005.

  • Year One Goals: 1,000 participants, supported by 200 volunteers, with a stretch goal to raise $100,000 for charity.
  • Year One Results: 1,900 participants supported by 250 volunteers, clearing $132,000 for the three charities.

The event blossomed beyond everyone’s wildest imagination.

  • Year Seven Results: 22,124 participants, supported by 1,000 volunteers, clearing $612,000 for charity.
  • Year Eight Results:  24,223 participants, supported by 2,000 volunteers, clearing $700,000 (from the race) plus an additional $500,000 from a one time, anonymous donor totaling $1.2 million for charity.
  • Year Nine Results:  24,565 participants, supported by 1,800 volunteers. clearing $850,000 for charity.
  • Year Ten Results:  26,405 registrants, supported by 2,000 volunteers, clearing $936,000+ for charity.
  • Total donated: More than $5 million.

Our Title Sponsor:

We are honored that for the eleventh year, Applied Materials – and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Mike Splinter – are serving as our Title Sponsor. Applied Materials “sets the bar” in terms of community service and commitment to our Valley. Thank you Applied Materials!

Raising Money for Charity:

The event is run almost exclusively by volunteers from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Central Labor Council, City of San Jose, County of Santa Clara, Applied Materials, numerous community partners and each branded co-sponsor and our five benefiting charities.

With YOUR help in 2015 we anticipate raising even more for charity.

Please refer to our thorough FAQ page before sending us an email. Thank you!

For event related questions, please contact richardh@svlgfoundation.org.