BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s almost time for one of Western New York’s oldest and most popular Thanksgiving traditions, the YMCA Turkey Trot.

Boasting the 8-kilometer run as “the world’s oldest consecutively run footrace,” YMCA Communications Director Mike Baggerman says the 128th annual staging on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, will be the Turkey Trot’s “best year yet.”

Baggerman said proceeds from the race go directly to the YMCA’s family and youth development services like swim lessons, childcare, and programs fighting food insecurity.

“We think about the Turkey Trot as a wonderful celebration of community, we think about it as families getting together, and we also think about it as a great way to give back to your community,” Baggerman said.

Of course, a prominent fixture of the Turkey Trot is the creative costumes the participants wear.

“This is not a race where you’re trying to be first place, I mean that’s cool if you are, but it’s really about having fun,” Baggerman said. “Last year I saw some ninja turtles running around, you saw Waldo … There’s a dude that runs the entire thing with a canoe on his head.”

If you want a spot in this year’s race, you may want to act fast. At midnight on Saturday, the ticket price will increase from $42 to $47.

For anyone who can’t attend in person, a virtual option for people to run during Thanksgiving weekend is also available. You can find more information about how to sign up or get involved here.

Baggerman joined News 4 live in studio to talk details about this year’s race. Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.