The Drumstick Dash returns to downtown Roanoke for Thanksgiving

ROANOKE, VA. – Thousands of runners and walkers started their Thanksgiving morning with a walk through downtown Roanoke for the annual Drumstick Dash.

A total of 7,500 riders gathered at Williamson Road, including Sean and Makayla Metzler.

The mother-daughter duo said the Drumstick Dash is a family tradition.

“We run it from a very young age.” Sean says: “We used to have to drag her, but now she races ahead of me. I’m usually behind,” Makayla Metzler said.

Like, the holiday begins in a special way.

“I just think it’s a great thing to do. Just as the motto goes, “move your feet so others can eat.” So I just think it’s a great charity,” Sean said.

Last year the race was moved to the Greenway, but this year it’s back downtown.

Runners ran past landmarks including the Roanoke Hotel, the Transportation Museum and the Texas Tavern.

“I really prefer downtown. We also play with bells and it’s really cool downtown,” Makayla said.

Kevin Berry of the Rescue Mission of Roanoke said his favorite part of the race is the community.

“The people we see come here because they care about those we serve in the rescue mission, and that’s the exciting part. Knowing that all these people care about helping others. That’s why they’re here,” Berry said.

Bethany Waters trotted. She is a nurse and worked in a rescue mission.

“I think it’s a good part of helping people,” Waters said.

All funds from the dash go to help Roanoke Rescue Mission. They collected about 300 thousand dollars.

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