ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR 26TH FEASTER FIVE THANKSGIVING DAY ROAD RACE UNDERWAY AT FEASTERFIVE.COM

Iconic family-focused road race – one of the New England’s largest with field of 10,000+ – provides an apple pie to all finishers

ANDOVER, Massachusetts  Registration for the Thanksgiving Day Feaster Five Road Race November 28 – one of New England’s largest and most festive running events – is underway at www.feasterfive.com.

Given the growing popularity of the event, Race Director Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports, who also directs the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, New Balance Falmouth Road Race and TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine, advises runners to sign up soon to secure a spot at the starting line for either the 5-mile or 5K.

“The Feaster Five brings participants from throughout New England,” McGillivray said. “It’s a popular, family-friendly event, and each year we have more and more runners who want to participate, so signing up early makes sense in case we reach our limit.”

Race officials took 10,720 registrations in 2012, which resulted in a record setting 9,297 runners crossing the finish line.

The Feaster Five is a Thanksgiving Day tradition for a growing number of families and groups of friends across the region. The mood is festive and every race finisher goes home with an old-fashioned apple pie provided by Table Talk, a long-time New England favorite.

“Entries are coming in at a record pace already,” said Tom Licciardello of the Merrimack Valley Striders. “We are at double the rate of the record breaking 2012 field, so participants should sign up soon to take advantage of the early registration discount and to guarantee the commemorative race shirt.”

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. 28).  All three races – which welcome 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 will benefit the Ironstone Farm, Merrimack Valley YMCA and the Merrimack Valley Striders.

The race offers a “family friendly” early entry discount fee of $30 for both the 5K and 5-mile races through Oct. 31 for entrants over 12 and $20 for those under 12. The Kids Fun Run entry fee is $5, regardless of when sign up occurs.  Find more information about the race and register at www.FeasterFive.com.

Among the VIPs, Feaster Five will again welcome New England running legends  Rick and Dick Hoyt, Joan Samuelson, and Bill Rodgers at the 2013 Feaster Five Road Race with meet and greet opportunities at the Expo during race week.

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Samuelson won gold in the first women’s Olympic marathon in 1984 and remains a worldwide icon for women athletes; Rodgers is an Olympian and four-time winner of both the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon.

The 2013 race will unveil its new “Friends and Family Team” opportunity.  Sponsored by Whirlaway, participants are encouraged to gather their friends and family together to form a team.  The team Captain creates the team name when registering for the race, and then teammates can join the fun.  For teams with 10 or more members, Whirlaway will provide discounts at its running store starting at 10 percent, with 1 percent more for each additional member up to a full 30 percent off its prices.

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 also provides ample free parking and a printed race program, courtesy of the Eagle-Tribune.

The Feaster Five Expo – featuring a variety of sponsors and vendors – will be held Nov. 25-28 at the Merrimack Valley Y – 165 Haverhill St., Andover, in conjunction with on-site registration, bib number and t-shirt pick-up.

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The Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company is the presenting 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 Club of Greater Lawrence and Tallman Eye. Bronze sponsors include Woodworth Motors, Brickstone Square, Costa Fruit & Produce, Whirlaway Sports Center, Fuddruckers, Tactician, Smolack Farms, Larabar, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Food That Should Taste Good, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Pridestar EMS, Eastern Bank, Nature Crops, Cape Cod Chips, Seacoast Coca-Cola and Enterprise Bank.

Charitable partners for the race include Bellesini Academy, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm, the Merrimack Valley Y and the Merrimack Valley Striders.

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 crissyL26@yahoo.com.  

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 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, 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.