NEW INFORMATION: More than 3,300 turned out to Turkey Trot

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(WEAU) - Thousands of people crossed the finish line for the 5th annual Festival Foods Turkey Trot.

Here in Eau Claire, organizers say 3,360 runners and walkers took part in the 5 mile run and 2 mile walk Thursday and more than 33,450 people laced up their shoes overall in eight cities.

The money raised will go towards the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA.

Organizers say they expect to surpass the $200,000 they raised last year.


EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - On a holiday spent largely at the dinner table and on the couch, Eau Claire and seven other cities state-wide put on their running shoes for the fifth annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

"This is the first time I've ever done this, so it's just a great event, it benefits some good causes, and there's so many people here," WEAU anchor Judy Clark said.

"A lot of families out here, kids, dogs, strollers, I see the Mayflower rolled in back here," Eau Claire Festival Foods Store Director Rick Walker said.

"This year we made a really big boat (The Mayflower) to run in so it's going to be a little different. It's just a fun thing to do, it's a great event in the community," runner Ben Sternecker said.

"I'm so lucky and thankful today that the weather is as warm and as nice as it is," race director Karen Drechsel said.

About 3,000 five-mile runners and two-mile walkers including the WEAU news crew filled downtown Eau Claire to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club and the Y.M.C.A.

"I feel I wanted to be more safe than sorry doing the two-mile walk. A two-mile walk is a great amount of exercise. A five-mile, I don't think I'm gonna make it," WEAU reporter Kevin Hurd said.

"There are so many families out there that are in need during the holiday season and ec is a great community, willing to help out," Ashlee McKee, with the Boys and Girls Club said.

The top two male runners were brothers, Scott and Cory Hayden of Eau Claire, with times of 26:14 and 26:58, who decided to donate their grand prize frozen turkeys.

"You get a little bit more enjoyment knowing that it's donated to a good cause than eating it," Scott Hayden said.

"It's a really timely thing to do when we're about to stuff our faces full of food and also think about staying healthy," runner Nick Anderson said.

"The Turkey Trot is a great way to start off your morning, get some exercise in before you get to eat a lot. It's just a great community event," WEAU sports anchor Jenn Chapman said.

"It's nice to go for a walk in the morning and get ready for that turkey dinner," WEAU reporter Olga Michail said.

"It was great to support the Boys and Girls Club and get the funds out there, especially around the holidays," WEAU reporter Courtney Everett said.

"We're thankful we've got people here in the community who came out, be together and people we work with as well," Hurd said.

Dani Fischer of Madison, Wisconsin won the women's race with a time of 29:43.

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