Though I grew up not far from here, neither my dad nor I have ever run the Feaster Five road race on Thanksgiving Day. I knew it was a big one, but I didn’t expect the vibe to be so fun! It felt like the whole community was out enjoying themselves – there were runners, walker, strollers and so many dogs. I loved it and I plan to run it again next year. Famously, every participant takes home a Table Top pie, which they give out after the finish line. I thought people meant one of those personal size pies but NOPE – it’s a whole damn pie.
The race: The race is attended by some running hot shots, who spoke before the gun went off. I heard Joan Benoit Samuelson and a few others. During the race I passed by the incredible Team Hoyt, who I grew up watching in the Falmouth Road Race every year. I’ve never run a race with them so that was kind of awesome!
The course: The 5k and 5 mile courses are both challenging thanks to the big, long hill between the Stop and Shop plaza and Andover’s Main Street which comes up pretty quickly after the start. After that it’s pretty flat, then downhill until the last hill which leads up to the parking lot where you finish. (I wasn’t expecting that one, and I thought I might die, but I survived.) If you do the five mile (I did), its just one more round of flat then downhill.
Swag: When you pick up your number at the expo at Merrimack College before the race, you get a nice long-sleeve tech shirt. Usually I donate my race shirts but this one I wore all winter, awesome quality.I didn’t hit any of the booths but it looked like they had some promo junk to give away too. After the race there’s a great spread with free fruit, water, chips, bagels and several promotional booths offering energy bars and other athlete treats.