Races to be thankful for ... The 2009 Feaster Five
“This is one of my favorite races of the year because it’s all about family,” says Race Director Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports and also race director of the BAA Boston Marathon. “What better way could there be to begin a Thanksgiving celebration than with fresh air, exercise, friendly competition and a free apple pie?”
Posted Tuesday, 20 October, 2009
In Andover, Massachusetts football games and turkey dinners are not the only longstanding Thanksgiving traditions. Long before the family sits down to feast there will be at least 8,500 people walking and running, as part of the 22nd annual Eagle-Tribune Publishing Feaster Five Road Race, hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders and also sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The start is early enough on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2009, so that folks can get their bodies moving and still have plenty of time to be a couch potato before the first kicker boots that first ball across the field. The hub of this 22nd annual event is Brickstone Square in Andover, Mass., just a little more than an hour’s drive from where the original settlers sat down to their first Thanksgiving.
The Feaster Five is sanctioned by the Road Runners Club of America and it draws people from all over Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Southern Maine; however, the invitation to participate is open to everyone who wants to enjoy an incredibly well organized race that also includes more than its fair share of fun. One year it included actor Matt Damon, his brother Kyle and other family members. There was also a year in which Race Director McGillivray proposed to his wife in front of thousands of people. It attracts world class runners, walkers, and runners of all speeds and ages. This race is truly a happening…it’s more than just a race and it is all about family. And that is how it is approached by the Merrimack Valley Striders, DMSE, and McGillivray, who has been directing this race for the past 17 years.
This holiday race is a feast for the runner’s palate. Runners and walkers can choose from a distance menu that includes kid fun runs from 100 yards to 400 yards, 5K run and walk; or 5 (8K) mile run and walk. As with all races??, the sweetest part is at the end where all finishers are rewarded with a homemade, old fashioned apple pie, the perfect compliment to a morning of fun, camaraderie and fresh air. In addition, the first 6,000 entrants are guaranteed a long sleeve technical race T-shirt. Everyone is encouraged to pre-register at www.feasterfive.com. Race Day entries will be accepted.
The race will not only make participants feel good, it DOES good. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Merrimack Valley Hospice and Merrimack Valley YMCA.
Family is also the operative word on Thanksgiving morning. Mothers, fathers, kids and cousins are encouraged to walk and run together. In fact there are awards for the family with the most participants. In 2008, the Irwin family won this award with 50 team members! The post race question is, how do they all fit around the table for their post race (Thanksgiving Dinner) party?
Fun isn’t the only reward at this race. The top three in each age division (19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+) in both the 5-mile and 5K races will receive awards. Certificates will be given to all children participating the Kid's K. Age group prizes will be mailed. Timing and results are provided by Granite State Race Services.
Just like any great Thanksgiving Day meal, the Feaster Five has all the trimmings a runner or walker could want. They include fruit, bagels and other holiday treats served as well as live bands along the course; Digital clocks placed at every mile for accurate split times; Light refreshments served following the race; Free and convenient parking; full results posted on the Internet and a beautiful glossy race program courtesy of the Eagle-Tribune to all entrants.
Feaster is a two course meal. Choose the 5 mile or the 5K depending on your appetite for exercise. Walkers are welcomed and encouraged to participate!!
5 mile course:
Starts on Main St. at the corner of Rt. 133 and Rt. 28. Goes straight
through Andover Center, left onto Morton, left on Barlett, right on
Chestnut, left on Pashos, right on Summer, left on Washington, left on
Elm, right on Maple, left on Walnut, right on High, straight on High taking
left onto Haverhill, right on York, then finishing turning right into Brickstone
Start at same location as 5-miler, straight to Elm St., left on Elm then immediate left onto High St., straight on High (merging with 5-mile race at corner of High and Walnut and staying to the left side of the street the rest of the way), following 5-miler to York St. and finishing on York at the top of the hill past the driveway into Brickstone.
Timing is everything.
7:45 a.m. Kid’s K
8:30 a.m. 5-K Run and Walk
8:30 a.m. 5-mile Run and Walk
[/b]The Price for Fun:[/b] $28.00 non-refundable; $30.00 after November 22nd; make checks payable
to: "DMSE/Feaster". Mail application and check to: Feaster Five, DMSE, Inc.,
P.O. Box 80067, Stoneham, MA 02180. Kid's K is $5.00.
Race day entries will be accepted.
The Race couldn’t happen without the generosity of the Eagle-Tribune, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Comcast, TD Bank, Holy Family Hospital, Mix 104.1, Fuddruckers, Bagel Boy, Table Talk, Costa Fruit, Whirlaway Sports Center, New England Eye Specialists, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Coldwell Banker, Woodworth Motors, Brickstone Square, Mary Immaculate Health Care, Trinity EMS, Merrimack Valley Hospital, Pentucket Medical, Burton’s Grill, Rogers Spring Hill, and Izze Sparkling Juice. The host hotel is the Days Hotel and Conference Center, 159 Pelham Street, Methuen, MA.
Registration and number pick up will be held as follows:
Monday, November 23rd, Tuesday, November 24th from 12PM - 7PM and
Wednesday, November 25th from 12PM - 6PM at the Merrimack Valley YMCA,
Thursday, November 26th (Race Day): 7AM - 8:15AM at Woodworth Motors corner of Rt. 28 and Rt. 133.
How to get there…. From Boston, take Rt. 93 North to Exit 43 which is Rt. 133 East. From
New Hampshire, take Rt. 93 South to Exit 43A. Follow approximately 3
miles through 3 sets of traffic lights taking left onto York St. which is directly after Rt. 28.
This race, managed by DMSE Sports, Inc. which has been giving runners and walkers something to be thankful about for twenty two years. Come see what it’s all about! Runners can register online at www.feasterfive.com.