In spite of Thursday’s forecast for cold temperatures, wind and rain, 14,000 runners and walkers are expected to hit the streets of Buffalo for the annual YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot.
Nearly five miles of Delaware Avenue from Tacoma Avenue in North Buffalo to downtown’s convention center will be consumed by the more than century-old race, which gets underway at 9 a.m. This year will see another sell-out crowd of participants – a crowd YMCA Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Buddy Campbell says is diverse.
“We’ll have runners that will work at breaking the record, and work at getting times for races down the line. And we have many families that come and run and walk together.”
While staying fit and having fun may be the primary reason for many participants, Campbell reminds us that the Trot’s true purpose is to help people throughout the community.
“The purpose of this race is really to provide financial assistance for people who want to use Y programming, who want to be Y members and can’t afford it. So this is a big part of our annual plan, where we provide about $1.4 million in financial assistance to people throughout the community.”
The 8K race is no easy feat to pull off. Campbell places it high amongst the list of big Buffalo events.
“It certainly is up there. We get great cooperation from the city in terms of making it work, and traffic control and so forth. And I think that they recognize that it’s a big event, Thanksgiving Day for Buffalo.”
The race ends with a party at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The event has been a Buffalo tradition since 1896, making this its 121st year.