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YMCA Turkey Trot off and running for the 127th year in Buffalo

Liam Hilbert of Kenmore finished in 24:05. Anne-Marie Blaney from Rochester Hills, Michigan finished in 26:46.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Around 12,000 runners were back on Delaware Avenue in North Buffalo to celebrate a 127-year-old tradition: the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara's Turkey Trot

Some Western New Yorkers trotted down the 5-mile course in true Bills Mafia fashion.

"We've been doing the Turkey Trot for eight or nine years now and we dress up every year. We didn't win last year because someone had COVID so it's a little bit traumatic for me. But our first year we won and we're coming back strong every year," said Luke Sworts of Rochester. 

Thankfully they came back just strong enough. 

"A $5 Tim Horton's gift card is on the line. This is some serious stuff," Sworts said. 

Sworts and his family took first place in the costume contest and got those gift cards.

As for the winners of the 8K race, Liam Hilbert of Kenmore finished in 24:05.

"I feel pretty tired. This is my second consecutive win in a row and my 16th consecutive Turkey Trot," Hilbert said. "It's an out of body experience and I'm happy."

Anne-Marie Blaney from Rochester Hills, Michigan, finished at 26:46. 

"This is my first time running in Buffalo, yeah," Blaney said. "I heard this is the longest Turkey Trot ever, the 127th so that's pretty cool to be a part of."

But the Turkey Trot goes way beyond competition. 

It's more about the just having a good time with the people who make us truly grateful on Thanksgiving, even if they push you out of your comfort zone. 

"(My friend Jennifer Gernatt) made me the first time. So actually it's her fault for all of us (doing it today). She said let's try this and the atmosphere was so fun and just being around all the people," said Rachel Mitchell of Jamestown.

"All the costumes, it's such a great experience. You have to at least do it once in your life," Gernatt said.

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