By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-– It’s an annual holiday tradition that gets bigger every year. Thursday, across Maryland, more than 14,000 people laced up their shoes for a good cause.

A Thanksgiving ritual before the big feast.

“Celebrations have always been centered around food, and I wanted to do something a little different and help the children in the community,” said Susan Teneza, a race participant.

The Turkey Trot charity 5K pulls runners, walkers and trotters of all levels with two legs, four legs and on wheels, together for a good cause.

“Early childhood programs, after-school programs, summer programs, they really need this for kids from lower income families who don’t have access to unless we all get out here and run,” said John Hoey, the CEO of the Central Maryland Y.

The annual fundraiser for the Y also gets people moving before they sit down and indulge.

“We love seeing folks exercising and doing something great for themselves, at the same time we are helping kids all over Maryland,” said Neil Meltzer, CEO of LifeBridge Health.

And a time to give thanks.

“Having a family and being able to spend time with them Reflecting on what matters most,” said race participant Henry Brown.

Thursday’s event raised more than $800,000 for the Y.

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