MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — An annual tradition in the Miami Valley, the Miamisburg Turkey Trot, had a new group of runners that stood out in the crowd.
Runners, along with the sun, rose at the same time Thursday morning in Miamisburg.
More than 8,000 participants ran in the 36th Annual Turkey Trot. The race is a five mile run, or a one mile walk/jog.
We found Anthony Ritchie before the race holding an American flag.
“You may think of it as a running group, but I call it a family.”
A family that was decked out in red, white and blue–Team Red White and Blue. An organization that helps veterans cope with post traumatic stress disorder. Ritchie says the organization bridges a divide.
“We bridge the gap between understanding between veterans and civilians. A lot of civilians don’t understand what veterans go through when they come back from war there’s a disconnect there.”
He says Team Red White Blue had more than 30 running in this year’s Turkey Trot.
For Ritchie — carrying a flag for five miles is more than just a weight. It’s a heaviness that hits close to home.
“My best friend and who I consider to be my brother he took his own life from PTSD,” he added, “Carrying this flag, I feel like I’m carrying it for him as well.”
He tells us he wanted to do something for other veterans that would help get them the support they need.
This year’s Turkey Trot winner, Jake Kosperski, ousted six-time winner Paul Krebs with a time of 29:31.
With every runner that crossed the finish line, the flag inched its way closer.
For Team Red-White-Blue, It’s a finish that signals only the beginning.