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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > 20th annual feaster five road races—thanksgiving family tradition

20th Annual Feaster Five Road Races—Thanksgiving Family Tradition
Twenty years of tradition and family fun on Thanksgiving, our distinctly American Holiday. Get a 20th Anniversary Medal and a pie this year--8K, 5K, Kids K, something for everyone at every pace.

20th Annual Feaster Five Road Races—Thanksgiving Family Tradition

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Thursday, 8 November, 2007

Twenty years! Can you believe it? Family fun is once again coming your way in Andover, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving morning. Easy to get to, and with flawless planning and smooth race day operations by Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises, the Feaster Five provides a terrific opportunity for runners of all abilities—and walkers too—to participate in a holiday tradition for the whole family. It is made for local runners, walkers, regional runners, elite runners, and those visiting from the far reaches of the country. This is the place to be, Thanksgiving morning, November 22.

Highly competitive or just plain fun-running, this is the race for Thanksgiving. And you don’t have to worry about being fast to the finish to get your 20th anniversary medal and your delicious, full size apple pie. All 7,500 or more participants will get one to take home for display and desert after Thanksgiving dinner. And the first 6,000 pre-registered will get one of the classic multicolor T-shirts.

There are five options to get everyone involved: The Kids’ K will start things off at 8:00 a.m., running about one half mile. Then the big kids will zip down a clear, wide Main Street for the simultaneous start of the 8K and the 5K; there are runners’ and walkers’ divisions in both. They even have a prize for the top three families (see the race Website for details).

Get yourself out for this one and enjoy the holiday morning. Better still get the entire clan out for a jaunt through the pleasant streets and byways of Andover. This event is convenient—easy to get to, completed early, and an ideal way to start the holiday. It matters not whether you are a world class runner, or a first-time walker; everyone is treated equally, and everyone will have their time recorded and posted right here on Cool Running for all to see. And all times will be exact, despite the large numbers of participants. Granite State Race Services will use Championchip computer timing.

This celebration is managed by DMSE, Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises. Dave, Race Director for the Boston Marathon, and his team bring their incredible logistical talents to bear on these runs in Andover. They make it a smooth transition from parking, through racing, to departure. Imagine giving out 6,000 shirts, 7500 medals, and 7,500 pies! And every runner or walker is treated as the most important person in the entire event. DMSE has been managing these events since 1994. They are expert at moving people through so it never seems crowded.

Running legends Dick and Rick Hoyt, Johnny Kelley and race director Dave McGillivray.

Feaster Five Races are hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders running club, and volunteers will be everywhere. Thank them when you get the opportunity—they will be working hard for you. MVS will be offering for sale their attractive, engraved souvenir Thanksgiving glasses ($8.00). You can sing up for them with on-line registration or mail-in, for pick up with T-shirt, chip, and bib. Or they will be available for sale on race day. This helps to support the many club activities and competitions.

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and the Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company head a strong list of supportive sponsors who make this tremendously enjoyable event possible.

Convenience and Big Time Event Atmosphere
Everyone gets to complete on the same course, whether world class elite athlete or beginning runner or walker. And everyone can run and return home early for Thanksgiving dinner. There will not be any drawn out awards ceremonies. The top three woman and men will receive their awards on the spot, but other age groups—top three in each—will have their awards mailed. Age divisions will be applicable in both races, with 12-and-under, 13-19, and traditional ten year age groups through 80+.

Last year Andover resident and master runner Terri Ann McGettrick-Arpin won her fifth title—second consecutive--in 30:07. 31 seconds faster than in 2005. Patrick Moulton of Pelham, New Hampshire zipped in at 25:15. Past winners have included Olympians Joan Samuelson and Lynn Jennings, and notable talents such as Lisa Senatore, Kara Hass, and Miae Jacobs. Other terrific athletes having won the men’s race include Dave Dunham, Casey Moulton twin brother of the 2006 winner), Chris Teague, David Hinga, and Scott Bagley. There will be fast times, and there will be slow times for both races, but all will be enjoyable times with a festive, holiday spirit.

Katie Twarog of Providence won the 5K (18:46), along with Harry Horton of North Reading (15:53).

The 8K records are 27:33 by Lynn Jennings of Newmarket, New Hampshire (1996), and David Hinga of Lowell, Massachusetts (24:06, 1999. The 5K records are 15:44 by Matt St. Germain of Plaistow, New Hampshire (1999), and Jennifer Lincoln-Toomey of Wayland, Mass. (1998).

The Twentieth! Not only will you get your attractive 20th anniversary medal and a pie when you finish, but you will also get a commemorative, multi colored long sleeve T-shirt before you start.

Benefit for You—Beneficiary Merrimack Valley Hospice
There are two challenges that will make you feel terrific when you finish this event—the run or walk is naturally an ideal way to begin a day that is all about food, and food in plenty. Additionally, the charity for this year’s event is the Merrimack Valley Hospice, which helps those in need and specializes in end-of-life care. This organization is vital to the community. As you and your family enjoy your race, your reunion and your holiday celebration, remember those families struggling through the final chapter in a life. Please see pledge details on the race Website.

Registration—On-line, by Mail, or In Person
Online registration is available (through 9:00 p.m. on November 18), and is the most convenient way for you to participate in this terrific tradition. Mail-in applications are available on the Website if you prefer. And you may also register in person.

Race packet pickup and registration will be available at the Guesthouse Inn and Suites (it is also the designated race hotel with special low rates for participants). Hours for both packet pickup and registration will be: Monday, November 19 from noon to 7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, November 20 from noon to 7:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, November 21, from noon to 6:00 p.m. Should you miss these opportunities, packets will be available on race day from 7:00 to 8:15 a.m. at Woodworth Motors, which is located near the starting line.

Family team designations must be made by November 17. Contact to register/identify your family members. Remember, the top three get prizes, and time on the course is not relevant.

The Guesthouse Inn and Suites is just off Interstate 93, Exit 47—right at the bottom of the ramp on Pelham Street.

The Courses—Right Down Main Street
The 5K and the 8K will start simultaneously at 8:30 a.m., with the start line on North Main Street (Route 28) just south of the intersection of Route 133. Both will head south through the center of Andover, with the 5K splitting off to the left (Elm Street) for a more direct loop back to the finish. The 8K continues further south on Route 28, then also takes a left for a counter-clockwise loop back. The two courses rejoin about .7 miles from the finish, which is a wide right turn into the wide parking lot of Brickstone Square. There are maps of both on the race Website. They are most unusual, in that they start together and end together. Both are certified distances, with mile markers clearly visible.

The Kids’ K will be run on the track adjacent to Balmoral Street, just meters from the starting line of the big races.

The best way to get to the races on Thanksgiving morning is to take Interstate 495 to Exit 41A, Route 28 South. As you head south on Route 28 you will be directed to parking—most parking will be within about half mile of the start and finish, so allow plenty of time.

Special Tradition on a Special Holiday
Enjoy your holiday, and get the whole family out for this one. Get those miles in before the big meal, and feel much better for it. For additional information visit the event Website, or e-mail The Feaster Five Road Races bring you tradition, family enjoyment, and holiday spirit in the Baystate. Thanksgiving began in Massachusetts with the Pilgrims and the Native Americans celebrating their abundance at Plymouth Colony. The tradition continues in Andover, Massachusetts with a colony of runners. What a way to start off Thanksgiving; run with like-minded folks out to get some exercise and participate in one of New England’s most enjoyable traditions. Be there!



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