Buffalo, NY ( release) 13,200 people became a part of another record breaking WNY event by taking part in the largest ever 116th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot. The previous YMCA Turkey Trot attendance record was set last year when 12,500 people participated. Participants were greeted with warmer than average temperatures and dry conditions ideal for running.
Once again this year a cap was placed on the race of 12,500 to ensure the safety of participants not only on the race course but at the post-race party at the Convention Center as well, but with the expansion of the family friendly area into the newly renovated Statler City the event was able to increase its registrations to 13,200. The event officially sold out November 15.
“To see this event grow year after year is astounding. We are grateful to Mark Croce of Statler City who helped make the expansion of this years race possible,” said John Murray, President/CEO, YMCA Buffalo Niagara.
Not only is the YMCA Turkey Trot the largest 8K race in the Buffalo Niagara region, it is also the oldest consecutively run footrace in North America, older even than the Boston Marathon. Runners took their marks for the Thanksgiving Day race, following a route from the starting line at Delaware Avenue and Shoreham Parkway, down Delaware to the Buffalo Convention Center where the top male and female Turkey Trot winners crossed the finish line. In addition to race participants, thousands of spectators lined the course to cheer on registrants. The winner for the men’s category was Dennis Pollow Jr. of Ransomville who finished in 24 minutes, 42 seconds. This is Pollow’s fourth consecutive Turkey Trot win. Maura Frauenhofer of Hamburg, age 22, completed the race in 29 minutes, 11 seconds and this is her third consecutive win.
The holiday tradition continued at the Convention Center and Statler City where race participants and their families attended the post race party and awards ceremony. The post race party has become a reunion gathering for many families and friends home for the holiday.
New this year the YMCA teamed up with the Food Bank of WNY to collect items for needy families in our community. Participants were encouraged to bring two cans of non-perishable items with them to race packet pickup to help those in need.
From a five-mile footrace along rugged dirt roads in the early days to a holiday spectacle down Delaware Avenue, the Turkey Trot has raised thousands of dollars in scholarship money for the YMCA throughout the years. Proceeds from the race are used to provide financial assistance to children and families who otherwise would be unable to participate in YMCA programs and services, and to underwrite programs that are not self-sustaining.
The YMCA Turkey Trot is made possible by over 300 volunteers and the following sponsors: Wegmans, Coca-Cola Bottling Corp., Ford Dealers of WNY, Nike, AdPro Sports, The World’s Largest Disco, Univera Healthcare, HSBC Bank, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Star 102.5-FM, WBEN 930-AM, Certo Brothers, Runners Roost.
Locally founded in 1852, YMCA Buffalo Niagara is an inclusive association of people committed to a common effort to help individuals and families reach their fullest potential in terms of spirit, mind, and body.
The YMCAs focus on health and wellness is reflected in the variety of programs that we offer for all ages and abilities. Additionally collaborations with insurance carriers such as Univera, Independent Health, and BlueCross BlueShield provide the opportunity for those wanting to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle to do so at the YMCA.
A not for profit organization, YMCA Buffalo Niagara serves over 100,000 people annually through the seven branches located throughout Western New York, YMCA Camp Weona, as well as at over 40 community based program sites. This tremendous outreach would not be possible without the support of our volunteers. From summer camp, preschool and school age child care to SilverSneakers®, youth sports programs and swimming lessons-there is something for everyone at the YMCA. For more information visit us online at www.ymcabuffaloniagara.org