It was conceived on a porch about five miles away in North Andover. Thirty-five races later, including Thursday’s race, the annual event that takes over Andover on Thanksgiving morning has carved out a niche in the New England road racing community.
There may not be a better event that celebrates life, health, family and passion than the Feaster Five Road Race.
Another enormous field of more than 7,000 — yes, 7,000 — is expected in Andover for the run or walk (5K or 5-mile) or the Kid’s K for ages 3 to 12.
Here are 35 reasons — one for every race since its inception — why a trip to Shawsheen Village, and the crossroads of Routes 133 and 28, is worth it this Thanksgiving.
1. A free apple pie
It is a sweet payoff for covering 3.1 miles.
2. Race director is the G.O.A.T.
Tom Brady might be the greatest football player of all time, but he’s not the only G.O.A.T. in our midst. There is no race director to match Dave McGillivray. Participate in this event once, just once, and you’ll understand. McGillivray is also the Boston Marathon race director, and he lives in North Andover.
3. Your dog can run, too
I love this part of the race. In the past couple of years, more than 300 walkers have brought along a four-legged friend. There are areas of the course for those walking (or running) with their dogs. What other race does that?
No avid jogger in the Merrimack Valley is without one. This year’s is elite.
5. Eat more at dinner table
Maybe this should be Reason No. 1.