Before some people ate this Thanksgiving, they burned off some calories and helped out a great cause at the same time.

Thousands of people flocked down to Coolidge park this morning the 17th annual Grateful Gobbler.

More than 4,000 people put on their running shoes and worked up their appetite ahead of that huge holiday meal.

“Everybody wakes up on Thanksgiving morning, and this is an opportunity to remember blessed we've been to have a home, to have food on our table and there's people who don't,” Grateful Gobbler Co-Chair, Stan McCright.

The race supports the Macclellan shelter for families at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen,
it's a self-funded organization that keeps families together who may be facing homelessness. It's why Sherrod Ramsey ran the race and gave high fives at the finish line.

"It's sad but I hope people take a stand and bring some positivity the city, to the community,"  Ramsey said.

This year the event broke a record, raising more than $200,000 with nearly 4,200 participants.

John Arrowsmith has ran this race for several years, this year he crossed the line first.

"You go to a lot of races and it's really packed and there's a lot of people and it's really sort of stress but this is just relax and it's fun,” Arrowsmith said.

With the Woodmore bus crash at the top of mind for many in the Scenic City the crowd stood in a moment of silence before the race began, to show support for the Woodmore victims and their families who now have an empty seat at the dinner table.

"This is a tremendous time of the year, for those five families it's just such a tragic moment that we want to recognize and support them with the rest of the community in their grieving process and their recovery,” McCright said.

If you slept in and couldn't make it to the race it's not too late to donate to the shelter, more information visit the Grateful Gobbler online.