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Wellesley Turkey Trot raises money to fight cancer

Wellesley Turkey Trot mascots promote the race outside Pine Straw in Wellesley

Runners will have a chance to work up an appetite and raise money for charity when the annual Wellesley Turkey Trot sets out at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Now in its fourth year, the race donates 100 percent of race entry fees with help from sponsorships from various businesses. The 5K route starts and ends at Linden Square on Linden Street.

Carol Chaoui, who founded the race, said it's on target this year to raise $70,000 for local charities such as the Wellesley Education Foundation, Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children's Hospital.

Chaoui was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer six years ago, stage-three thyroid cancer last year, and a stage-four metastatic breast cancer recurrence in August. She is currently going through treatment of daily targeted chemotherapy, injections, and infusions.


"For me, working on this event keeps me positive because I feel I am doing something good in the community, surrounded by friends," said Chaoui.

Chaoui also formed a local "Couch to 5K" group, which trains people to run or walk a 5K course. Some of the participants are cancer survivors or undergoing treatment programs.

Approximately 2,000 runners have signed up for Thursday's Turkey Trot — the race is currently full with a waiting list. The 5K route hits several destinations around town, including one mile on the Boston Marathon course.

"This [race] is such an important part of the community now," said Chaoui. "You have grandparents in town either running or walking, college kids who come back, competitive runners.

"Even though we have runners from around 30 different states and 60 different towns there's a lot of Wellesley families so it just feels like a big homecoming."

For more information, visit wellesleyturkeytrotfoundation.org/ .

Cynthia Chen can be reached at cynthia.chen@globe.com.