ROANOKE, Va. – Thousands of runners and walkers started their Thanksgiving morning by trotting around Downtown Roanoke for the annual Drumstick Dash.
A total of 7,500 racers gathered on Williamson Road including Shawn and Makayla Metzler.
The mother-daughter duo said the Drumstick Dash is a family tradition.
“We have run it ever since I was very little.” Shawn says, “When we used to have to drag her and now she sprints way in front of me. I am usually lagging,” Makayla Metzler said.
They said it is a special way to start the holiday.
“I just think it is a great thing to do. Just like the motto says, ‘move your feet so others can eat.’ So I just think it is a great charity,” said Shawn.
Last year the race was moved to the Greenway, but this year it was back Downtown.
Runners ran past landmarks including Hotel Roanoke, the Transportation Museum, and Texas Tavern.
“I really prefer downtown. We also do the jingle bell run and it is really cool downtown,” Makayla said.
Kevin Berry from the Rescue Mission of Roanoke said his favorite part about the race is the community.
“The folks that we see coming out that are here because they care about those that we serve at the rescue mission and that is the exciting part. Is knowing that all these folks they care about helping others. That’s why they are here,” said Berry.
Bethany Waters ran in the dash. She is a nurse and has worked at the Rescue Mission.
“I think it is a good part of helping people out,” Waters said.
All proceeds from the dash go to help the Rescue Mission of Roanoke. They raised about $300,000.