Participants take on shortened Feaster Five, Mother Nature

Due to frigid weather reports, which proved to be spot on, there was no Kids K and no 5-mile race in Andover Thanksgiving Day morning.

But there were over 4,000 runners and walkers who participated in the 2018 Feaster Five Road Race, which consisted of a 5K race.

In other words, the weather, including windchill temperatures in the single digits, didn’t win.

While most of the annual Thanksgiving Day high school football games were moved to Wednesday night, the Feaster Five went as scheduled.

“It was cold, sure,” said women’s 5K champion yesterday, Catherine Beck, who usually runs the 5-mile distance at the Feaster Five.

“But honestly, this was like running in January,” she said. “It’s not easy, especially the wind. But you just dress warm and deal with it.”

Beck did. And she outlasted Andover’s Allana McDonough, who has won the 5K race twice and finished second or third three other times, by four seconds.

“We were together for most of the race,” said Beck, who is from Brookline, N.H. but resides in Clinton, N.Y. with her husband and 18-month-old son Harper.

“We were laughing about how cold our faces were,” said Beck. “It was great. We pushed each other and I just got away.”

In the men’s race, another familiar face, Bow, N.H.’s Neal Carmody, of Whirlaway Racing, made it three straight 5K wins with a convincing 24-second win (15:45), 12 seconds faster than his close win last year at finish line.

“The funny thing is I usually do better the hotter it is,” said Carmody. “It was cold, but I felt pretty good. I really wanted to win three in a row.”

Carmody is a native of Maryland and starred at High Point (N.C.) University. He is coming off a very good year in the New England Grand Prix circuit, finishing third overall to Whirlaway teammate Ruben Sanca, who has dominated the 5-mile distance at the Feaster Five. Sanca, who has six straight 5-mile titles opted not to race the 5K event yesterday.

Carmody said his season is officially done with the Feaster Five, next preparing for the New Bedford Half-Marathon in March.

But there are more important family matters in about a month. He and wife, Michaela, are expecting their first child.

Ben Pare, of Huntsville, Ala., finished second at 16:09, while Scott Mindel of Burlington was third at 16:14. The guy Carmody edged out at the finish line last year, North Andover’s Jacob Johns, finished fifth at 16:26.

“I think we made the right decision,” said Feaster Five race director Dave McGillivray. “We didn’t want to expose too many people for too long. I think most people were happy.”