Five years ago today, November 26, 2015, Santa Monica High School track coach Tania Fischer became the first repeat champion in the Palisades Turkey Trot 5K. The 49-year-old was fifth overall in 19:05 after crossing the finish line first in 18:47 in 2014. “It was a little easier because I knew what to expect, especially that first hill because when I came last year I had no idea we were going up that hill,” Fischer said. “With all the twists and turns, all the ups and downs and tight corners it’s hard to get your rhythm, but coming out onto the bluffs you have that beautiful view and I knew I was halfway done. I have a lot of friends who live in the Palisades and it’s fun to see them. I love the upbeat music, the neighborhood feel and the ocean views. This is a perfect course for the Turkey Trot. It gets harder every year believe me, but I’d love to come back next Thanksgiving and make it a tradition.” Fischer won the 5K the next three years straight to make it five in a row and even beat all of the men in 2017. The 2015 event is also included a 10K for the first time and exactly 100 people completed the 6.2-mile route beginning and ending at Palisades High School’s Stadium by the Sea. The winners were 14-year-old Ryan Younger, a cross country runner at Brentwood School, and 35-year-old Jennifer Blair, a software saleswoman from Brentwood. Younger set a brisk 6:25 pace and finished in 39:48. Nicholas Janneck, 30, was the first Palisadian finisher in 41:55. Placing fourth in the women’s 10K and first in the 20-25 age group was Meg Norton, a graduate student and sand volleyball player at USC who grew up in the Palisades and was a standout for Sunshine Volleyball Club. The men’s 5K winner was Cameron Posner, who was visiting his aunt in Santa Monica for the holiday weekend. The 20-year-old cross country and track runner at Otterbein University, a Division III liberal arts school in Westerville, Ohio, won in 16:47, making him the fastest champion in the Palisades Turkey Trot’s three-year history. “This is my first time in the Palisades,” he said. “The houses are beautiful and people were waving and cheering us on. I had a lot of confidence heading back to the stadium.”
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