ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE NEARS FOR 25TH FEASTER FIVE THANKSGIVING DAY ROAD RACE IN ANDOVER, MASS.

Runners encouraged to register online for popular New England road race by 5 p.m. Nov. 17 at www.feasterfive.com

ANDOVER, Massachusetts — Race organizers of the 25th Eagle-Tribune Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race are encouraging runners – and walkers - to register online by 5 p.m. Nov. 17 at www.feasterfive.com to ensure their spot among the field of 10,000 for the popular holiday event.   

“It’s a great race and we are looking at a big turnout for the 25th year, so we are encouraging folks to register online now vs. in person race week,” said Tom Licciardello of the race’s host running club, the Merrimack Valley Striders. “It’s easier and it gives us a better idea of the field.”

Hosted by the Merrimack Valley Striders and managed by DMSE Sports, the Feaster Five Road Race’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, Nov. 22.  All three races – which welcome walkers as well – begin near Brickstone Square on Main St. in Andover at the corner of Rt. 133 and Rt. 28. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Ironstone Farm, Merrimack Valley YMCA and the Merrimack Valley Striders.

This year entrants will receive a 25th commemorative technical shirt by Saucony - in addition to the traditional apple pie provided by Table Talk, a New England favorite. An online store has also been added to commemorate the 25th year of the race, featuring Feaster Five t-shirts, hats, hoodies and mugs. In addition to the online store, the Feaster Five website features videos of the 5K and 5-mile courses as well as a training program for first-time runners, provided by the Merrimack Valley Striders.

Race Director Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports – who also directs the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race and the TD Beach to Beacon in Maine – advises runners to sign up soon to ensure a spot among the field limit of 10,000.

“We are seeing a great turnout so far due to it being the 25th year, so signing up online this week will ensure a spot in this historic year for the race,” McGillivray said. “We’re excited about this milestone and want to see everyone who wants to participate be able to join us on race day.”

After online registration closes Nov. 17, entrants can still register in person Nov. 19 to 21 at the Feaster Five Expo at the Merrimack Valley Y, 165 Haverhill St., Andover and on the morning of the race at Woodworth Motors, 339 N Main Street in Andover. The Expo features a variety of sponsors and vendors and will be held in conjunction with bib and t-shirt pick up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of race week. This year's Expo has more than 20 vendors offering a variety of running products, clothing and accessories and information booths from various sponsors.

Among the VIPs, the race will again welcome New England running legends Joan Samuelson and Bill Rodgers as well as father-son Team Hoyt with meet and greet opportunities at the Expo on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the Merrimack Valley Y.

Volunteers are also 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

The Merrimack Valley Striders, a non-profit organization, 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.

The Feaster Five also features bands and music along the course, digital clocks posted at each mile, holiday refreshments after the race and, of course, a traditional Table Talk apple pie for all finishers. The race provides ample free parking and a printed race program, courtesy of the Eagle-Tribune. Runner photos are taken by Brightroom Professional Event Photography, which participants can purchase online.

The Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company is the title sponsor of the event and the gold sponsor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Silver sponsors include Table Talk Pies, Bagel Boy, Holy Family Hospital, Kiwanis of Greater Lawrence and Tallman Eye. Bronze sponsors include Woodworth Motors, Brickstone Square, Costa Fruit & Produce, Whirlaway Sports Center, Fuddruckers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Burton’s Grill, Pridestar EMS, Eastern Bank, Cape Cod Chips, Seacoast Coca-Cola, Smolak Farms, Off Season Sports & Physical Therapy, Tactician, Larabar, Nature Crops, Food Should Taste Good, Cascadian Farm and Enterprise Bank.

For additional information and to register, go to the race website at www.FeasterFive.com.

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 more than 30 major road races per year, including the BAA 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, Run for the Dream in Williamsburg, Va., the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wis., and the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, among others. For more info, visit www.dmsesports.com.