Start of the 5k at the 68th Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY. Photo by Pat Hendrick PhotographyTROY, NY (Nov. 26, 2015) — On a day that families come together and give thanks, more than 7,252 participants descended upon the home of Uncle Sam this morning for the 68th annual Troy Turkey Trot, America’s 12th oldest road race.

The event, founded in 1916 and run consecutively since 1964, kicked off at 8 a.m. with the area’s only Thanksgiving Day 10K.  During the 6.2-mile run, which doubled as the USATF Adirondack’s Men’s and Women’s Championship and saw a record-breaking field of 1,750, Kiernan O’Connor (of Arlington, VA) out-kicked his rivals with a time of 31:30 to win the prestigious crown and the accompanying $250 first place prize.  First across the line in the female division was Karen Bertasso (of Albany, NY), who also earned a $250 payday with a time of 36:18.

Jonathan Aziz from Boulder, CO runs sub 15 and smashes the 5k course record with a time of 14:53 at the 68th Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY. Photo by Pat Hendrick Photography.More than 4,633 runners then toed the line on Fourth and Fulton Streets for the 5K, the day’s main attraction. Participants wove their way along River Street, which was lined with thousands of cheering spectators. Jonathan Aziz (of Boulder, CO) was the first male to hit the finish tape at Monument Square, smashing the previous course record of 15:05 with a time of 14:53. Female bragging rights went to Kathryn Tenney (of Colonie, NY) who crossed the tape in 17:26.

“Today was a great day for the City of Troy and for all involved in the 68th Troy Turkey Trot,” said Event Director George Regan. “The weather couldn’t have been better and as a result we saw the fourth largest number of participants in the race’s history and a record number of runners in the 10k. It was truly a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving. People gave generously to our charities and brought food for those in need. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity.”

For the second year running, 5K participants donned colorful costumes ranging from bobsled teams and gnomes to candy canes and spoons as part of the day’s popular costume contest.

Earlier on, 541 kids took part in the Grade School Mile, a fun chip-timed event for children in the 8th grade and below.  Spencer Daley (of Troy, NY) finished first for the boys with a time of 5:48, while Erin Dougherty (of East Greenbush), led the girls with a time of 6:27. Meanwhile, a group of 450 opted to burn off their pre-meal calories at a slower pace by tackling the Turkey Walk, a one-mile fitness walk that followed the same course as the Grade School Mile.

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and giving back and participants gave generously to the Trot’s two designated charities.  Registrants raised thousands of dollars to benefit the Regional Food Bank of NENY and Joseph’s House and Shelter, Inc., a Troy-based not-for-profit whose mission is to prevent and alleviate homelessness.  Hundreds of participants and spectators also brought non-perishable food items to give to local food pantries.

“The City of Troy is delighted to share Thanksgiving morning with so many families and individuals from all over the Capital Region, more than 39 states and four countries,” added Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “It really is a community event in its truest form.”

For more information, please visit TroyTurkeyTrot.com.

Event sponsors include: Pioneer Bank, Wm. J. Fagan & Sons, Capital Region Honda Dealers, Hannaford Supermarkets, CDPHP, Garelick Farms, Bryce Real Estate, Caprara’s Auto Body Shop and Choice Physical Therapy.

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About the Troy Turkey Trot
Now in its 68th year, the Troy Turkey Trot is the nation’s 12th and world’s 64th oldest road race, as well as the 11th largest Turkey Trot in the nation. The event, which draws more than 7,000 participants from 37 states and features a 5K, 10K, Grade School Mile and Turkey Walk, is designed to celebrate fitness, families and tradition against a backdrop of some of Troy’s most historic neighborhoods. For more information, visit TroyTurkeyTrot.com.

Photo Captions:

  1. Start of the 5k at the 68th Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY. Photo by Pat Hendrick Photography
  2. Jonathan Aziz from Boulder, CO runs sub-15:00 and smashes the 5k course record with a time of 14:53 at the 68th Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY. Photo by Pat Hendrick Photography.
  3. Karen Bertasso of Albany, NY wins the women’s 10k at the 68th Troy Turkey Trot in Troy, NY. Photo by Pat Hendrick Photography.