HOUSTON -

With Houston experiencing the coldest Thanksgiving in twenty years, many are braving the weather to take part in their holiday traditions.

About 15,000 runners started off their Thanksgiving Day by racing down the streets of Houston near the Galleria for TXU Energy's 21st annual Turkey Trot.

"I remember when it first started,"said Jane Bavineau, Vice President of Sheltering Arms Senior Services. "We had maybe 200 runners, and today we will have 15,000, so the race keeps getting bigger and bigger every year."

Vendors and volunteers set up early before runners arrived.

"There's food, fun, and lots of activities especially for the kids," said one volunteer.

"This is like a family tradition," said Paige Monsterman. "This is my brother's fourth year, my second, my boyfriend's first, and my dog's second.”

Her dog "Wenchel" was dressed like a turkey, complete with colorful feathers.

The race includes a 10k, 5k, wheelchair race, and a kids’ walk. Even though this is the coldest Thanksgiving in 20 years, Houstonians remained faithful to run and give.

"Last year we raised just under $500,000 and this year we're on track to raise around $600,000," said Bavineau.

The proceeds of the race will go toward seniors in our Houston communities.

"We want to keep them active and independent as much as we can. Part of the money will help open a fitness center in the 5th ward area," said Bavineau.

"It’s cold, but it will be a great run," said Monsterman.