A Havertown post-Thanksgiving tradition continued this year with the 15th annual Cardinal John Foley Regional Catholic School Turkey Trot on a cold, windy Nov. 27 held at Annunciation B.V.M. Parish.

The in-person race resumed this year after going virtual in 2020. Runners opted for four ways to participate. A 5K run, family fun walk and a 5K run for the school students all took place Saturday morning, two days after Thanksgiving.

People could also be involved virtually if they could not make it at that time or simply did not feel comfortable in a crowd.


“This is a big event,” said Father James Cox, pastor of Annunciation. “It has been for years. We have a great turnout.”

Members of the school and parish communities totaling some two dozen people, mostly parents of Cardinal Foley School students, volunteered their time to make the event happen. Promotions through area parish bulletins, e-newsletters, social media and word of mouth all helped make people aware of the event.

Cardinal Foley School enrolls children from Annunciation B.V.M. and neighboring St. Denis Parish, which makes it easier for word to get out to folks new to the area as well as those that have never taken part.

Among the newcomers was Bridget Billbrough, who recently moved into Annunciation B.V.M. and triumphed as the first-place female winner with a time if 19:55. She finished 11th overall.

While this was the first time she ran in the Cardinal Foley Turkey Trot, she has a long history of taking part in various runs as an avid runner and as a graduate of Our Lady of Fatima School, Secane and Cardinal O’Hara High School.

“I love the local 5Ks,” she said. “I love to give back to the community.”

Among those participating in the family walk was Father Jim Cardosi, parochial vicar at St. Denis, along with his two adult sons, their wives and children — a three-generation affair.

“It’s become a family tradition,” said Val Cardosi, daughter-in-law of Father Jim. “Just to meet all the folks in the parish is nice.”

Father Jim Cardosi (center, no. 9), parochial vicar at St. Denis Parish in Havertown, gets ready to participate in the Turkey Trot 5K with his adult sons, their wives and children.

Following a prayer by Father Cardosi, the race gun went off at 9 a.m. sharp on the blustery morning. Runners went on a two-loop course throughout the surrounding neighborhood. The route has changed over the years though it was the same one since 2017, so those who ran it recently were familiar with it.

Timing was provided by Bryn Mawr Racing and RaceJoy.

Prevailing as the overall winner with a time of 16:59 was Glenn Kirby of Vermont, who was visiting his relatives in Broomall for a week. Prior to the Turkey Trot, he ran in the Philadelphia Marathon the previous Sunday.

“It’s a great race, a great turnout,” said Kirby. “It’s a lot of getting together after Thanksgiving.”

Kirby was not the only one who came from afar to participate.

Bruce Kirch of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who originally hailed from Huntingdon Valley, made his first trip back home in two years and decided to run the course.

Children cross the finish line for the fun run, one of four ways people could participate in the Turkey Trot event Nov. 27 in Havertown.

Kaitlyn Hanley of Brooklyn, N.Y. was also home visiting family for Thanksgiving and participated in the 5K along with members of her clan. She thought the race was a fine opportunity to reunite for the first time since COVID.

“It felt really good to be back in the community, supporting the school and doing something with family all over again,” said Hanley. “My athletic side comes out once a year.”

Ultimately a total of 320 people from 118 families came out for the event, with all but 22 runners preregistered. Virtual participants had through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday to complete their run.

All proceeds received benefit the Cardinal John Foley Regional Catholic School community.

“The Home and School Association makes it happen,” said race director Tony Van Dyke. “It comes back to benefitting the school.”