Feaster Five is one of New England’s largest running events with a field of 10,000 and an apple pie for every finisher

ANDOVER, Massachusetts — One of New England’s largest and most festive running events, the Thanksgiving Day Feaster Five Road Race, is now open for registration at Feasterfive.com with a new perk for runners – a long-sleeved hoodie t-shirt for the first 9,000 entrants.

Race officials are encouraging participants to sign up soon as the field is capped at 10,000 for the special 30th edition of the popular road race on Nov. 23 in Andover, Mass.

The family-friendly Feaster Five – a Thanksgiving Day tradition for families and groups of friends across the region – will again provide an old-fashioned apple pie from Table Talk, a long-time New England favorite, to every finisher.

Hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders (MVS) and managed by DMSE Sports,the Feaster Five’s 5-mile and 5K races will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the Kid’s Fun Run at 7:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  All three races, which encourage walkers as well, begin near Brickstone Square on Main St. in Andover at the corner of Route 133 and Route 28.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Merrimack Valley YMCAChallenge Unlimited at Ironstone FarmBellesini Academyand the Merrimack Valley Striders.

Also, now in its sixth year, the Feaster Walk to 5k program is available to anyone interested in training for the race with a group. Sponsored by MVS, the free program is taking place on every Sunday leading up to the race. The event is geared toward all ages (kids, parents, grandparents) and all fitness levels (casual runners, former runners, walkers) are welcome. The training program begins at 8 a.m. on Sundays at the Feaster Five Race Start (parking lot across from Woodworth Motors). 

“We welcome anyone at any fitness level to become involved. It’s a great way to get your Sundays started and train for the event,” said Tom Licciardello of the Merrimack Valley Striders.

For those who intend to walk the course, the Feaster Five will continue a tradition started two years ago by providing a dedicated ‘walker lane’ – a rarity for competitive road races. Last year, about a third of the participants preferred the safety of the walker lane, making it a popular addition to the event.

The race’s Number Pickup & Expo Nov. 20-21 will be held at its traditional location: the newly renovated Andover/North Andover YMCA.

The 2017 Feaster Five will again feature bands and music along the course, digital clocks posted at each mile, and holiday refreshments following the race.

In addition, every 50th runner in the 5K or 5-mile will receive a $25 gift certificate to Whirlaway Sports, and every child in the kid’s race will get a medal.

To learn more about the race and to register, go to the race’s website at www.FeasterFive.com. Once runners or walkers have registered, they can update their details via the www.myevents.active.com link on the website.

Volunteers also are needed. Detailed information about how to sign up to help on race day can be found on the volunteer page at www.feasterfive.com/Volunteer or by e-mailing Crissy Licciardello at crissyL26@yahoo.com

Returning as the presenting sponsor for 2017, Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management and automation with its North American headquarters in Andover.  

“Schneider Electric has stepped up as a phenomenal financial supporter of the Feaster Five,” said Race Director Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports. “This company is so dedicated to the health and wellness of its employees and many of them take part in the Feaster Five.”

Whirlaway Sports Center also is returning as a Gold Level sponsor. Our newest Gold Sponsor Is Orange Theory Fitness. To become a sponsor, contact dmse@dmsesports.com.

About Merrimack Valley Striders
The non-profit Merrimack Valley Striders was founded in 1979 to encourage and enhance running at all levels – from beginners to seasoned marathoners to members who run to improve their health. Though founded in the Merrimack Valley north of Boston, the running club has members from as far away as Florida and Arizona. For additional information, visit www.mvsruns.com.

About DMSE Sports
Founded by Dave McGillivray in 1981, DMSE Sports is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. In addition to the Feaster Five, DMSE manages the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the TD Beach to Beacon in Maine, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod, the Finish at the 50 at Patriot Place, the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wis., and the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, among others. For more info, visit www.dmsesports.com.