SHREWSBURY, Mass. — About 800 runners and walkers hit the streets of Shrewsbury on Thanksgiving morning to burn some pre-turkey calories and raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
For the second time, the number of participants in the Turkey Trot for the Memory exceeded expectations. Last year's event drew about 500 and raised $14,000 for the Massachusetts/New Hampshire branch of the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, more than 500 runners and walkers had preregistered, and hundreds more signed up the morning of the race, race organizer Jane Lizotte said.
The 5-mile running course started at Heald & Chiampa funeral home at the Town Common and ended at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church on Prospect Street.
Participants could choose either the 5-mile run or a 2-mile fun walk. The running course follows the walking and running path preferred by Lizotte's late father and Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Francis P. O'Connor, who died five years ago due to complications from Alzheimer's.
Lizotte said she was “thrilled” at the start of this year's race.
“I'm feeling very thankful that, on Thanksgiving, we've had such a fabulous turnout of runners and walkers,” she said.
Among the participants were sisters Jenna and Lynne Modzelewski, who were running in memory of their grandmother, who died of complications from Alzheimer’s in May. This will be their first Thanksgiving without her.
The sisters said they felt mixed emotions, however, Jenna Modzelewski said they were “glad we could do something for the cause.”