CHICO -- At about 8:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Dillon Kiuttu, 10, wasn't thinking about turkey, stuffing or pie. He wasn't thinking about the drizzle getting his hair wet.

It was all about running in Bidwell Park with his grandparents, Dennis and Bev Landers of Chico, who all turned out for Thursday's annual Run for Food, a benefit for the Jesus Center.

"I'm running with them this year, but next year, I want to beat 24 minutes," his time from last year's race.

This was Bev Landers' first time running.

"I've helped before, but just decided to run, or rather walk." She was one of 4,077 registered runners on Thursday.

As principal of Chico Christian School, she is also involved in the soft glove and scarf drive at the school for the Jesus Center. The school's middle school students also helped organize goodie bags for the racers.

There were others like Buster who knew nothing about the Jesus Center.

A Boston terrier from Napa, Buster bore a racer's number borrowed from "mom" Marina Stiefvater, who was running with hubby Ryan, a former Chico resident. Brother Lerdo, a springer spaniel, was numberless.

This was Buster's second Run for Food.

"They told us he was the first dog over the finish line last year," Marina Stiefvater said.

With serious racers at the front of the line, bearing chips that would help record their time, there were hundreds of others intent about the event as family and community time.

The narrow South Park Drive was stuffed with runners of all ages, strollers, toddlers and one Great Dane the size of two toddlers.

The Beck family drove over from Orland, with aunt Annette Noa of Las Vegas and sister Michelle O'Dell of Corning.

Gavin, two and a half, was calmly taking in the scene tucked in a stroller, as dad and mom Ryan and Stacy Beck finished their preparations.

"I've wanted to do this for years," said Stacy Beck, "and it's a good cause, raising money for the Jesus Center."

Joking the "lazy ones" were at home, preparing the food and house for the Thanksgiving feast, Beck said the run was a good way not to feel guilty about eating later.

Chico High School sophomore Adin White was tired when he crossed the finish line, but was happy about the run. It was the first time he ran the 5K race without stopping.

"I just like to run."

The spirit of the day was obvious with runners in turkey hats, a group wearing green T-shirts that said "Irish Turkey," and a few gobbles that erupted from the crowd.

It was the first time for Janelle Moylan of Chico, who was just getting back into running, but usually wasn't in town for Thanksgiving. She was spending the day with her fiancé, Jason Sofranac, and his family.

"I love running in Bidwell Park. I have an app for running, and it's my goal to run 35 miles in November. This race could put me close."

Bill Nicholau of Paradise was one of several Butte County Search and Rescue volunteers at the race. Stationed at the start line, Nicholau said it was his third year.

"We help with medical, if someone falls down. Last year there was a lost child.

"Mostly, it's just fun."