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Left: Runners competing in the 19th annual The Rescue Mission of Roanoke Drumstick Dash fly by the Texas Tavern on Church Avenue in downtown Roanoke on Thursday morning. Right: Racers approach the finish line for the Drumstick Dash at the entrance of Elmwood Park on Thursday. The event is the Rescue Mission of Roanoke’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke Drumstick Dash returned to downtown on Thursday for the first time in three years, drawing 7,539 registered runners and walkers on a new route. The Thanksgiving Day race is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Rescue Mission, a ministry based in southeast Roanoke that serves people in need of food and temporary housing. This year the race will bring in an estimated $300,000, according to Kevin Berry, marketing and events manager at the mission.

Top male and female finishers on the 5-kilometer course were Roger Hopper of Chesapeake, with a time of 15 minutes, 56.5 seconds and Alyssa Vassalo, at 17:58.3. For full race results, visit

— The Roanoke Times

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