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GraceWorks’ annual Turkey Trot sets record for number of runners

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The weather was perfect for running on Thanksgiving morning with temperatures in the mid-40s and climbing Thursday. 

Now in its 23rd year, the Turkey Trot benefiting GraceWorks Ministries has become a family holiday event, and this year drew more than 3,000 runners. The event includes a 10K, 5K and a 1K Turkey Chase for ages 9 and younger. The 10K and 5K routes are USAT&F-certified. 

“A big warmhearted thank you goes out to all of our sponsors and to all who participated and supported this year’s Turkey Trot benefiting GraceWorks Ministry,” said Graceworks CEO Valencia Breckenridge. “We were so blessed to see so many of our community — young, old and everyone in between— show up to champion our Neighbor serving Neighbor mission.”

This year’s event also featured a presenting sponsor in Nelson Mazda Cool Springs. 

“We are mission-minded, and realize that we all have a part to play in fulfilling our God-given talents,” said Chad Custer, Nelson Mazda managing partner.

“GraceWorks is easy to partner with for many reasons, including how they help so many people in what is considered a thriving county where it is easy to look past those who need assistance.”

“While a fun event, the Turkey Trot is also a meaningful one, in that the registration dollars help make our Food, Shelter and Support programs possible, and the crowds of thousands help create awareness of GraceWorks and the important work we do,” Breckenridge said. 

“Preliminary numbers show that we raised over $183,000 for our Food, Shelter, and Support programs.”

The event brings young and old, families, friends and business workers together on Thanksgiving morning, many dressed in outfits that you don’t normally see at other races. For Franklin resident April Wideman, it was a great way to have fun with friends as well as give back to the community.

“This is a great way to start your Thanksgiving Day,” said Wideman, who along with her friend Allison Brown dressed up in matching turkey outfits including a turkey mask. “We just have fun with it, and the race also supports a charity that we care about.”

This year’s Trot featured a new parking plan, new medals for winners and an improved course around CoolSprings Galleria. The start/finish line was the Meridian Cool Springs development at the PICA building, 3000 Meridian Blvd., in Franklin.

GraceWorks is a Christ-centered nonprofit community resource center. For more than 25 years, they have provided food, shelter and support for Neighbors in need.

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