The Run to Feed the Hungry established a first this year that organizers could have done without.
It was the first time in the 18-year history of the Thanksgiving Day fun run, fundraiser and race that it rained.
"I thought no one would come," said Kelly Siefkin, spokeswoman for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, the race organizer and beneficiary.
She needn't have worried.
A preliminary tally showed 26,844 people registered for the race, and many of them showed up, starting on J Street in front of Sacramento State, despite rain that started about three hours before the run and continued through it.
"I prefer the rain over the cold," said Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, who performed a blessing before the event.
It's good to see people filling their spirits with a community event, as well as filling their bodies for Thanksgiving, Soto said.
"I've wanted to do it for eight years," said Hillary Marrs, a California State University, Sacramento, graduate who had always been out of town. "And I like splashing in puddles."
That was before 10 kilometers in the steady, light rain, but people at the end seemed just as thrilled.
"It was awesome," said Tim Heard, dancing in the rain in the very wet party area after the run.
"I love running in the rain," said his sister, Meghan Tumlinson, who was doing the run for the first time since high school.
"It just kind of makes it that much more fun," Heard agreed.
Next order of business for the pair was something less rainy going to see the movie "Breaking Dawn."
Some folks made it a point of pride to show up.
"Because we're Troubadours and Troubadours always show up," said Susan Endsley, the parent of a St. Francis High School alumna.
The school has entered a team for five years and had 360 runners parents, staff and students signed up.
It's a chance to see friends not just family on Thanksgiving, said sophomore Sameenah Khan.
Even some people who hadn't pre-registered woke up, saw the rain and chose to come out anyway.
"I thought it'd be fun," said Jonathan Lee, a first-timer who said he is not a runner. "Just so many people do it, and it's a good cause."
Aside from the very untraditional rain, the 18th Run to Feed the Hungry showcased many of its standard offerings.
People carried dogs and pushed strollers; some sped and some dawdled; most wore running garb and some wore costumes, including Viking helmets, a pair of Mario Brothers with colored, short overalls and lots of turkey hats both feathered turkeys and hats featuring already roasted turkeys, drumsticks up.
Seven-year run veteran Alex Nelson of El Dorado Hills ran through the rain in a Pilgrim costume. "I was a little worried about making it to the New World," he said.
The benefit: He picked up a couple of cute female turkeys along the way, he said.
Benefits also accrued to the food bank's coffers, which will grow by more than $850,000.
Michael Stemper, a former Jesuit High and Stanford University elite miler, also ran as a fundraiser for the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, but failed to beat his 18-minute target time for the 5K run.
The top male finishers were Christopher Romo, with a time of 15:12 in the 5K, and Max King, with a time of 30:03 in the 10K run.
Top women were Terry Anderson, with 16:47 in the 5K, and Bridget Duffy, with 36:29 in the 10K.