GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Across the nation, many folks started the Thanksgiving holiday with a foot race before feasting with the family.

Turkey trots are growing in popularity, and Thursday morning, thousands took to the streets in Garden City for the 42nd Annual Turkey Trot.

The five-mile race welcomed runners of all abilities, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports.

“I’m just thankful for all these people out here, my friends and family, it’s such a great day,” participant Pete Hawkins said.

“They’re all getting older and this is our opportunity to bring them all back together because they’re all in college, more are going to college,” another participant said.

Thousands took to the roads in Garden City for the 42nd Annual Turkey Trot on Nov. 28, 2019. (Credit: CBS2)

Forty members of the Miller family gather for the race.

“No better way to start Thanksgiving than coming out. Turkey Trot, football game and a little dinner,” one participant said.

The day starts with a fun run for kids — a great way to rev up the metabolism and the holiday spirit. It also raises $100,000 for three charities.

“It’s just a fantastic day to spend with your family and your friends and your neighbors. Everyone is happy and they’re doing good things. They’re raising money for cancer. We have a huge food drive for the inn. So everyone’s happy. It’s just a fantastic event,” race director Ken Aneser said.

The wind was definitely a factor this year. There were no balloons at the starting line and runners say it slowed down the race, but it certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm.

This year’s event drew 6,000 runners, plus their fan clubs cheering them on from the sidelines.

Garden City’s own Tom Slattery was the winner of the five-mile race for the second year in a row. He finished in under 25 minutes.

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