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Pre-Turkey Trotting

Pre-Turkey Trotting
We talk with the director of the popular Thanksgiving Day Race about the history of this 102-year-old 10k, as well as what you can expect at this year's event.

 

111411HEALTH.jpgFormer Olympian Julie Isphording might not be running marathons any more, but she's still involved in the sport. Since 2002, she's been the race director for the Thanksgiving Day Race, a 10k which has been taking place for the past 102 years.

 

"I volunteered for years when I could no longer run, and it filled that void for me," says Isphording. "I could still be involved in the sport that I love, love, love — just in a different way."

 

Isphording attached herself to this event in particular because "this race is part of the fabric of our community," she says. "It has more families than any race in the Midwest because it has become a holiday tradition for generations."

 

She says she also has a soft spot in her heart for this race because she's run it eight times and won it seven times. "I have run all over the world, and this race is still my favorite of all time," she adds.

 

The community aspect is her favorite part of the event, she says. "Has a moment ever hugged you and never let go?" Isphording says. "That's how I feel about the magic of the Thanksgiving Day Race. It's not just faces. It's you. It's me. It's all of us, together amid the chaos and bustle of our lives - thousands stop what they're doing and set aside a few hours on Thanksgiving Day morning at 9 a.m. to breath, laugh, run, walk and talk with family and friends. It makes me cry every year."

 

All the things participants love about the race will still be there, but some new traditions are gaining traction. For example, Isphording says, organizers are encouraging participants to wear a coat to the starting line and shed it at the start line this year. Why? It's a Goodwill coat drive!

 

"Wear a warm coat to the race, and then take it all off for Goodwill's second annual coat drive — the largest of its kind in the nation," Isphording says. "The Share Your Warmth campaign was such a success last year that Goodwill will encourage stripping and sharing again."

 

There will be two donation stations, the starting line and mile two. At each, there will be several "I. Really. Can!" cans with volunteers accepting donations of coats, sweatshirts, gloves and other winter items. "There will even be some hot music by local musician Mark Macomber, a long-time Goodwill volunteer at mile two," Isphording says.

 

Isphording says this race is all about running for good reasons: Ronald McDonald House, Girls on the Run, Barrett Cancer Center, Neediest Kids of All, Accounting for Kids, Goodwill, Kilgour, Clark Montessori, Roger Bacon, St. James of the Valley "and you," she adds.

Amy Scalia -

 

Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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