ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday marked the 14th annual Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick Dash in downtown Roanoke.
“It’s the perfect way to start Thanksgiving Day," said Linda Bailey who came to cheer on the crowd.
The Drumstick Dash is a time to give thanks.
“We have to be grateful for what God has given us, the opportunity to come here and serve, run so people can eat. There’s a lot of people here that don’t have any jobs,” said Raphael Sanabria who participated in the race.
The 5K is also a time to give back.
Kevin Spencer who volunteers as the race mascot, Dash, said, “You can tell people you did something today that helped the homeless.”
The Drumstick Dash started as a small way to raise money for Rescue Mission’s food budget.
It’s now worked it’s way into the hearts and traditions of thousands.
“When I first started in 2006, a lot of people said I’m out of town, I can’t do it. Now, people say the whole family comes into town to do it,” Spencer said.
Whether you’re running, volunteer or simply cheering on the crowd, the experience is a reminder of the true meaning of community.
“The camaraderie, the spirit here is just unbelievable and you know why you’re on the earth,” said Bailey.
“Tomorrow, people are going to get together, argue and fight over that $10 TV or whatever, but today, people are going to love on each other and have a good time, encourage each other," said Spencer.
Trey Gibson won the race for the second year in a row. He’s a Roanoke native that returns every year to run in the dash.
Over the past 14 years, the Drumstick Dash has raised $3 million for those in need.
Click here for race results.