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Kenmore's Liam Hilbert repeats as Turkey Trot winner

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127th Annual YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot

Participants crowd together at the starting line before the 127th Annual YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot in Buffalo, Nov. 24, 2022. (Libby March/Buffalo News)

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Former University at Buffalo runner Liam Hilbert, who has been taking part in the YMCA Turkey Trot since he was 9, repeated as the race winner Thursday in downtown Buffalo.

Hilbert, 24, won the 8K race in 24 minutes, 5 seconds, bettering his winning time from last year of 24:43.

Anne-Marie Blaney, who races for the Hanson-Brooks Running group in Michigan, won the women’s race in 26:45.

More than 12,000 runners and walkers took to Delaware Avenue for the 127th edition of what is billed as the longest consecutively run footrace in North America.

Hilbert, who lives in Kenmore, is a former Monsignor Martin champion in the 1,600 meters and 3,000 meters at St. Joe’s. While at UB, he was the Mid-American Conference outdoor champion in the 10,000 meters in 2021.

The Turkey Trot has become a family tradition for Hilbert, as this was his 16th consecutive year in the field.

Kenmore’s Thomas Appenheimer was second in 24:23, four seconds better than his second-place time from last year. Appenheimer is a Canisius College runner who attended Cardinal O’Hara. He was 10th in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference cross country championships last month.

Lyle O’Brien, from Boulder, Colo., was third in 24:39; followed by Ryan Buzby, of Grand Island, in 24:45; Michael Peppy, of Bemus Point, in 24:51; and Joseph Whelan of Webster, in 24:53. Whelan, a former All-American at Hamburg, was the 2019 winner of the Buffalo Marathon.

Blaney, 29, was running in her first Turkey Trot and told race organizers that she had heard the race was the oldest consecutively run race and wanted to take part. Blaney is a former All-American at Central Florida, where she set 16 school records, and also competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and was a member of Team USA at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships.

Buffalo’s Hannah Reinhardt was second in 27:12, followed by Gabrielle Orie in 27:55. Trisha Byler, from Honeoye Falls, was fourth in 28:24, and Chloe Scrimgeour, from West Hartford, Conn., was fifth in 28:41.

Reinhardt ran at Clarence High and then was a multiple-time America East indoor track champion at the University of Albany before finishing her collegiate career at the University of Oregon, where she was an NCAA qualifier in the indoor 5,000 meters among other accolades.

Orie, a Nardin graduate who ran for Penn as an undergraduate and Wisconsin as a law student, won last year’s Turkey Trot in 27:57.

Byler, an RIT grad, won the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series race in Rochester in June. Chloe Scrimgeour is a former NCAA track qualifier from Georgetown.

Full results for the race can be found here.

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