Before the turkey, Thanksgiving Day 5K takes the track
Posted: November 17, 2012
The Winchester Star
Winchester — People wanting to burn a few calories before they consume five times as many will have their chance Thanksgiving Day.
The Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department will hold its 15th annual Thanksgiving Day 5K at 8:45 a.m. Thursday to help people get the blood flowing, said Karen Vacchio, public information officer.
The race, along with a Kids Fun Run at 9:45 a.m., will begin at the Sherando High School track.
“As far as I know, we are the only ones that are actually doing a run on Thanksgiving morning,” Vacchio said. “Other people are having Thanksgiving races but they don’t have them on Thanksgiving Day.”
Registration for the 5K will be held from 7 to 8 a.m. Thursday. The fee for the race is $20, and the Kids Fun Run is free. Proceeds from the race benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester.
The 5-kilometer — or 3.1-mile — race has not only survived 15 years, it is thriving, said Rob Riggleman, program supervisor. It went from 468 participants in 2010 to 713 in 2011.
Because of that growth, organizers are trying to make race day lines more manageable. New this year, they are asking people who have pre-registered for the race to pick up their bib numbers and race packets early, he said.
Packets can be picked up from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Sherando Community Center, 185 S. Warrior Drive, Stephens City.
People also need to remember to pick up their electronic chip timer on race day to get an official race time, Riggleman said.
Also new this year, the Holiday Inn Express Winchester South, 165 Town Run Lane, Stephens City, will offer a special rate of $65 (includes breakfast) for anyone traveling to the race Wednesday night, Riggleman said.
There isn’t any one reason the race has lasted so long or increased in numbers last year, he said, but points out that it is a fun morning for families.
“We have participants out of the area who come and visit with their families for the holidays and they are drawn to the event,” Riggleman said. “They come run and go about their normal Thanksgiving celebration.”
The race has become a holiday tradition for some families who come out and participate each year, Vacchio said. They like the fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
“We have families who run the entire race together,” she said.
People also love the fact that the race benefits a local charity, Vacchio said. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been the beneficiary for the race every year it has been held and provides several of the volunteers that help with the race.
This is good fit for the race because they provide opportunities for youth in the area and parks and recreation is all about having “a lot of activities for kids to do,” she said.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and top three female finishers, top master male and female, and to the top three male and female finishers in each age group, Vacchio said.
To register for the 15th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K, call 540-665-5678 or visit fcprd.net.
— Contact Laura McFarland email@example.com.