For many metro Atlantans, Thanksgiving Day was a chance to run, shop and gobble.



Thousands started the holiday early Thursday morning at Turner Field for a run through the central city. More than 10,000 people signed up for the 13.1-mile Atlanta Half Marathon, while another 2,500 registered for the Thanksgiving 5K run, Channel 2 Action News reported.



“It’s an event for all ages, all abilities and it’s a great way to start the holiday season,” Tracy Russell of the Atlanta Track Club, organizer of the event, told Channel 2.



Shawn Burris was the first half-marathoner to cross the finish line, with a time of 1 hour 8 minutes 34 seconds.



People like Moses Humphrey got ready for a run of a different sort — by camping out at a Best Buy store near Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody to be among the first in line for the “Black Friday” shopping holiday to kick off at midnight.



“I’m going to be out here for 24 hours pretty much to get me a TV for $199 – a 42-inch flat screen,” Humphrey told Channel 2. He also has a laptop computer and a Blu-Ray player on his $500 shopping list.



Meanwhile, volunteers were at the Georgia World Congress Center downtown, preparing and serving food for 40,000 people in the 41st Thanksgiving Dinner offered by Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. The event was moved this year from Turner Field because of renovations at the ballpark.



Volunteers included Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank, head coach Mike Smith and players William Moore and Vance Walker. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) also pitched in to help.



About 700 turkeys and 3,000 cans of vegetables, including yams, corn, green beans and more were on the menu. Starting Wednesday, volunteers worked in shifts chopping meat and cooking vegetables and were not finished until early Thursday morning. Many also helped by delivering meals to homebound residents.



“I just lost my job, so really I can’t be nothing but thankful for what I get today,” Horace Isom told Channel 2.



Besides dinner, participants also were offered free flu shots by the DeKalb County Board of Health.



On the third floor of the terminal building at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, volunteers with the USO were serving Thanksgiving dinner on a smaller scale — to dozens of soldiers passing through Atlanta.



The first wave of troops flew in this morning from Iraq. About 200 were expected to be served.



And many families planned to close Thursday’s festivities with an annual tradition to begin at 7 p.m. at Lenox Square in the Buckhead neighborhood: The lighting of Macy’s Christmas Tree, carried live on Channel 2.

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