A Great Way to Start Thanksgiving Day

Nov 25, 2017

November 23, 2017 (Exeter, NH)— The starting line was packed tightly as runners, strollers, and dogs all lined up for the 2nd Annual “Thanks for Giving 5K/10K and Kids Fun Run.” The event was a huge success thanks to all the local business donors and volunteers. The race, sponsored by Southern District YMCA and The Exeter Run Club, was attended by over 1000 participants, about 300 more than last year! Laughter filled the air, tails were wagging, and the energy hit an all-time-high when all the sneakers hit the pavement at once “What a wonderful way to start Thanksgiving Day—kids chasing a runner dressed like Tom the Turkey, music, great friends and relatives—all brought together as a community by this fun event,” commented SDYMCA Board Member Allison Yeagle.

The race, which included a 5K, 10K and a Kid’s Fun Run, raised money to support Exeter Area YMCA’s Annual Fund and the South East Land Trust, plus other local charities through Exeter Run Club.

Anne Torrez and Deidre McCarty, the race directors, said: “This race is an amazing tribute to what a group of volunteers can do when they come together. The best part for us is seeing the impact we can have on our community by putting on an event that involves the sport we love so much. It's a fun activity to do with friends and family on Thanksgiving morning, and it's fun to organize and plan this with members of our run club. But by far the most important piece is the support we can provide other non-profit organizations who are doing so much good in our community.”

“In just two short years we have established ourselves as the only Thanksgiving Race in the area with a 10k course. That really sets us apart in future years, especially after we take the next step to be USATF certified, which really matters to a lot of racers. It is rewarding as race directors to see all the athletes and families setting healthy examples for their children, and in some cases, grandchildren. It's really a win-win. We hope the race continues to grow and more people join in the fun for a great cause next year!”

The energy was electric at the starting line and the air was crisp and cool, but not too cold. Many use this run as a way to justify the big day of celebratory feasting and drinking; the event was enjoyed by all!

The top female finishers of the 5K were:

1          Kim Morgan

2          Andrea Giddings

3          Lily Kjendal    

4          Amanda Waleryszak    

5          Jacqueline Haker-Bonli                       

The top male finishers of the 5K were:

1          Derrick Hamel  

2          Sam Morris    

3          John Martel     

4          Bradley Rossignol    

5          Todd Bookman    

The top finishers of the 10K were:

1   John Davis                

2   Mike Guarascio             

3   Will Waltrip             

4  Alistair Ryan         

5   Elsa Chinburg   

6   Rosalea Kimball    

7  Brian Seaman      

8   Drew Szeliga           

9   Ryan Kelly          

10   Scott Muller          

If you ran the race and want to check out your time, please visit coolrunning.com

Many thanks to all of the sponsors, donors and volunteers that made this race a success. Without you, our Thanks for Giving Race would not be possible.


Southern District YMCA is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.