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Many metro residents begin their Thanksgiving with annual 'Burn the Bird' race

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FARGO—A record number of runners and walkers trotted in the 5th Annual 'Burn the Bird' 5 and 10k race on Thursday.

Thousands packed into the YMCA to first register then find the nearest running partner.

"It's the Turkey Day, and I'm with good friends and we already warmed up with a couple kilometers. So it's pretty fun.

For this trio, it's not their first go-around, but it is only 'Turkey Tom's' second race in the costume that comes with the name.

"Well, it's thanksgiving. I've got one costume, The turkey Costume and there is only one day a year you can wear it, and today is the day," said Tom Donaldson "Turkey Tom", runner. 

1,100 runners lined up at the starting line in downtown Fargo taking off and joining over 1-million runners in what's called the 'biggest race day of the year' across the country.

"The first turkey trot started at a ymca, so that's really fun. People like to burn some calories before the holiday starts and they like to have a good time with family and friends," said Anna Sather, YMCA Marketing Director.

Many channeling their inner-turkeys and characters to get them through the route across downtown Fargo.

Like the holiday itself the race is about family, friends and we can't forget about the 'fitness.'

"It's fun to get up and do a little activity before the big day, and the afternoon. This is part of the fitness, and the camaraderie with the community and stuff. And then we get together with family," said Pam Gronbeck, runner.

Together, these runners all ages and levels made their way to the finish line with a medal to prove it and a hungry stomach for later.

"What a great American holiday, what a great way to celebrate it," said Donaldson. 

The YMCA also partnered with the Great Plains Food Drive for the race last year donated over 500-pounds of food from the 5 and 10k proceeds, they expected more this year.