Burn the Bird Run Sees Biggest Turnout Ever!

Some people got a head start on working off their Thanksgiving meal this morning in downtown Fargo.

The fourth annual Burn the Bird race began at 8:30 am.

More than 750 runners get started for their choice of a 5K or a 10K run to kick off their Thanksgiving day.

“We came all the way from Canada to walk,” said one runner.

This year, the race saw its biggest turnout yet.

The great running weather may have played a part.

“The weather is a lot nicer this year,” said runner Sidney Hill. “Its way better this year. Last year it was freezing cold.”

As a matter of fact, the weather’s so great…why not run two races?

“At 7 o’clock this morning, I ran five miles this morning and then came over here right away and ran the 10K and was starting to get a little tired at the end,” said runner Cody Glaser.

For most people though, one race a day is enough to ease the worry of a big Thanksgiving meal.

“I don’t care if everybody has food today! I ran,” said runner Tarah Bjorem.

The morning run may even have some unexpected benefits.

“We were talking about this during the run,” said Bjorem. “It makes us better people to be around during the day because now we’re happier that we got our exercise in.”

The first place runner,  Branden Schee, comes in from the 5K at around 16 Minutes and 21 seconds with the rest not too far behind.

This race is about a lot more than winning.

It’s about giving back.

“We do a food drive which we, meaning the YMCA, does for the whole month of November,” said race director Bill Schallow. “They collect food. There will be over 500 pounds of food that will come in and we make a monetary donation to them and then the big benefactor is the LIVESTRONG cancer program.”

The money donated to the LIVESTRONG foundation will go to a free health and wellness program offered to cancer survivors and all that food will be going to the Great Plains Food Bank.

This year they met their 500 meal goal.

Director Bill Schallow says he hope to see the race continue to grow in the future.

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