About the Race
Celebrating Family, Friends, Fitness and Fun
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 more than 10,000 people walking and running, as part of the 26th annual Feaster Five Road Race, hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders. The start is early enough on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2013, so that folks can get their bodies moving and still have plenty of time to relax on the couch before the first kicker boots that first ball across the field. The hub of this 26th 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, Southern Maine, and this year as far away as New York, Virginia, Maryland, Canada and Switzerland!; 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 like Billy Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and the Hoyts, as well as 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, fitness, and fun. And that is how it is approached by the Merrimack Valley Striders, DMSE, and McGillivray, who has been directing this race for the past 20 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 in previous years, the “sweetest” part is at the end where all finishers are rewarded with an old fashioned Table Talk apple pie, the perfect complement to a morning of fun, camaraderie and fresh air. In addition, the first 9,000 entrants are guaranteed a long sleeve technical race T-shirt. Everyone is encouraged to pre-register at www.feasterfive.com. With 10,720 entrants in 2012, race officials will soon have to decide if the field will have to have a size limit in order to preserve the quality of the event.
The race will not only make participants feel good, it DOES good. Proceeds will benefit the Merrimack Valley YMCA and Ironstone Farm, a new charitable partner, the Bellesinin Academy, as well as the host running club, the Merrimack Valley Striders, a 501(c)3 organization whose mission statement is to encourage and enhance running at all levels.
Family, fitness and fun are the operative words on Thanksgiving morning. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, kids and cousins are encouraged to walk and run together. In fact, this year features the Friends and Family division where teams of 10 or more can earn substantial discounts at Whirlaway Sports Center, a running specialty store.
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 race program courtesy of the Eagle-Tribune to all entrants.
In addition to the Kids Fun Run, Feaster presents another two courses to the Thanksgiving feast. 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
The Price for Fun:
Kid's Fun Run $5.00, 5 Mile/5K $30 pre $35 post (age 12/under $20 pre, $25 post)
Registration and number pick up.
Monday, November 25th, Tuesday, November 26th from 12PM - 7PM and
Wednesday, November 27th from 12PM - 6PM at the Merrimack Valley YMCA,
Thursday, November 28th (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.and hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders has been giving runners and walkers something to be thankful about for twenty six years. Come see what it’s all about! Runners can register online at www.feasterfive.com.
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