GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A beloved tradition returned this Thanksgiving to the streets of Garden City.

Residents jogged five miles for the annual Turkey Trot, raising money for those with food insecurity and health challenges.

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As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the event is 44 years strong.

“This is giving thanks that we can run at this age,” the Arrangos, of Merrick, told McLogan. “It’s a tradition seven years in a row. We love it, we love it.”

It’s generational for the Fussells, of Baldwin.

“I think it’s about bringing people together,” they said. “Getting exercise, get moving, have fun.”

The trot featured runners from all over the country, many traveling to be with loved ones and making this part of their holiday.

“We had to go virtual last year, because of COVID,” said race director Ken Aneser. “But we knew they would come back, and they came back in force — over 6,000 runners out here today.”

The race features a food drive for The Inn of Long Island, a fundraiser for leukemia-lymphoma and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which brought out Brian and Dorothy Burke.

“My brother died of leukemia two years ago,” Brian said.

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It was emotional for them paying tribute to brother Kelly.

“We’re just very thankful to be here and having our health,” Dorothy added.

There was also a shorter “fun run” race for the kids. McLogan asked one girl what was the most fun part.

“When we finished,” she replied.

The first to cross the finish line was Tom Slattery, from Garden City, at 24-plus minutes.

This is the largest Thanksgiving race on Long Island, but there are 1,000 turkey trots across the country. The first 5 mile trot took place in 1896, a year before the Boston Marathon, and was sponsored by the YMCA in Buffalo.

As McLogan reported, this year was a spectacularly sunny day and a time for people to strut their stuff.

“Yeah, this is our normal outfit,” said one person wearing a turkey hat.

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Revving up the metabolism and heading home for the family feast.

CBSNewYork Team