Annual 'Turkey Trot' grows in popularity

CEDARBURG, Wis. -
More than 1,000 people opted to burn off calories with exercise before sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. The eighth annual St. Francis Borgia Turkey Trot kicked off at 10 a.m. in Cedarburg. 
 
The run/walk began and ended in front of St. the St. Francis Borgia Education and Activity Center. 
 
Mike Ruzicka, one of the event's organizers, said all money raised is put towards the school. 
 
"The school's brand new," Ruzicka said. "This is the second full year, and all the proceeds go to benefit the school and pay off the debt we have for it."
He said the Turkey Trot typically raises about $20,000 each year. 
 
"When they built the school, (the Turkey Trot) sponsored a classroom - a 4K classroom," Ruzicka said. "So this year we'll end up paying off that classroom." 
 
The run/walk followed a Thanksgiving Day Mass. Runners participating trekked through an almost 3.5-mile course of mostly unpaved trails. The walking route, 1.8 miles long, was entirely made up of paved trails and roads. 
Ruzicka and other organizers begin planning the Turkey Trot in June. He said it started off with 79 people taking part eight years ago. Now, the event draws roughly 1-thousand participants. 
 
"It's much bigger than we ever envisioned it would be," Ruzicka said. 
 
He added some runners are likely appreciative of the opportunity to get in some exercise on Thanksgiving. 
 
"We get up in the morning, do a little physical activity, and you don't feel as guilty about eating 4,000 calories later in the day," he joked. "So, you know, it's great."
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