BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) It was a record-breaking year for the YMCA Turkey Trot as 12,500 people came out to run and support the YMCA.
The horn blew at 9 a.m. on the dot as runners made their way down Delaware Avenue for the 115th annual Trot, kicking off one of Buffalo's oldest traditions.
"We are older than the Boston Marathon. We started in 1896 with only six runners," YMCA Spokesperson Kathy Vallone said.
Carl Pegels has been running the race for more than 30 years.
"It's a tradition in Buffalo and some people have been running for more than 50 years," Pegel said.
The race route went up Delaware Avenue around to Church Street then ended on Franklin Street. Dennis Pollow Jr. finished the nearly five miles in just over 24 minutes. He took first place for the men.
"I knew I was in good shape coming in so I wanted to see what I could do and it turned out well for me," Pollow said.
Jackie Rzepecki dominated the women, coming in at just under 29 minutes.
"This is the fifth time I've done this and I love this race it's a great way to start off the holiday," Rzepecki said.
But this trot wasn't just about the race. All the proceeds will go back to the YMCA.
"They're having a great time while also giving back to the community. All the proceeds go back to the YMCA's financial assistance program to help people who need our services but don't have the financial means to do so," Vallone said.
"Trotters" are made up of all types of participants, from serious runners, to walkers, to individuals who choose to show their Thanksgiving Day spirit in costume...showing up dressed as turkeys, pilgrims, Santa, and even Elvis.
The WNY Ford Dealers led off the race in a "Pace Car" taking the runners from the start right through the course.
The party didn't end after the race. Everyone was invited back to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for a post-race celebration.
For a complete list of winners, go to the YMCA website at "News Links" at wkbw.com