Under a slow rising sun, runners readied themselves for a race in sweatshirts and sweatpants. Children rolled along in strollers bundled in blankets. Dogs yapped at one another, straining at their leashes.

Groups of all ages were ready to run in the Turkey Trot, Auburn’s yearly Thanksgiving Day race at the Moore’s Mill Golf Club.

Some came before their yearly feast as full families, while others were running alone or with their dogs.

As the time ran down on the counter, the race began. Some took off at the start, running full speed. Others took a more leisurely approach, walking with larger strollers or puppies at their side.

Caroline Walker, who lives next to the golf course, had watched the race for years; then, a couple of years ago, she and her sister decided to join the fun.

This year, Walker recruited her dog Hershey to be her running buddy.

“I might be running really fast,” Walker said. “… It’ll be difficult. We did a little practice run down the street last night and I was tired.”

Laura Green came with her family, including the little members.

“The four-year-old, he loves to run, so he will probably run the whole time,” Green said.

They started coming to the Turkey Trot last year and she said it’s a good start to the holiday.

“(This race) just draws you together around a common purpose,” Green said. “There’s a lot of things in our world that tear things down, so it’s nice to build things up together.”

The Turkey Trot brought people together, with racers calling out one another’s name, greeting and hugging one another.

Before the race even began, children ran around a green space together, just enjoying the morning air and having a chance to play.

“(Races) get everyone together especially on days when we need to be thankful,” Walker said. “And it’s exciting to get families out and get a little exercise in before everyone consumes a ton.”

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