Thanksgiving Day Traditions

Across the street from Naperville Central High School, thousands of locals lined up at the starting line for the city’s 15th annual Turkey Trot, continuing their Thanksgiving Day traditions one step at a time.

First to cross the finish line was Naperville resident Kyle Brady. “I expected to be up there. It’s always a fast race so you never know where you’re going to be up there there’s always lots of good guys,” he said.

The first female to finish was Amanda Mirochna followed by Amber Druien.

“We run it every year, and usually come in first or second so it’s fun. You get to know the people that you run against and it’s just a fun day,” said Druien.

The 5k was sponsored by the Naperville Noon Lions Club. An organization that helps members of the community who can’t afford the vision and hearing care they need. Last year, the group helped over 350 residents hear and see better.

This is the second time for Pat Byrne to run the Turkey Trot, a charity event that is close to his heart. “I work in a center for independent living and Naperville Lions Club has helped us with some of our initiatives and this is kind of a way to give back a little bit,” Byrne said.

“Makes me feel better doing it knowing it all goes to a good cause,” said Brooke Whitkan of Naperville.

For some runners, the Turkey Trot is part of their yearly Thanksgiving tradition.

“It’s a blast. It’s fabulous, it’s good to be part of the community,” said Michelle and Justin Filey of Naperville.

Naperville’s Turkey Trot has grown from over 500 runners in 1998 to more than 7,500 who entered the race this year.

Steve Saul dressed up like a Turkey for event. “They are very generous and great sponsors, the Lions, when we picked up our bibs were really excited about the race so the enthusiasm for it is just awesome,” he said.

The event, now in it’s 15th year has raised over $150,000.

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