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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The 108th Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day 10k Walk/Run

Celebrate Your Healthiest Thanksgiving Ever with the Whole Family

 By Julie Isphording

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy pumpkin pies, turkeys, and a place at the W&S Thanksgiving Day 10k Run/Walk for the whole family.
The starting line of the event is a special snapshot of an outstanding moment in Cincinnati history.  For 107 years, people of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities have gathered to share the holiday together.  The event is a party like no other; and it truly reflects a healthy gratitude that impacts our hearts, our families and our community. 
“Thanksgiving Day morning in downtown Cincinnati is about coming together to continue a rich tradition, do something good for the community and make our city great,” said John Barrett, president and chief executive officer of title sponsor Western & Southern. 
Thousands of people carve time out of the chaotic holiday season to enjoy some precious time with family and friends, burn some extra calories and witness the beauty of Cincinnati.  In fact, Men's Journal cited Cincinnati as one of the best places to run a turkey trot in America.  
“It’s one of those moments where time seems to stand still and being together is the only thing that really matters,” said Hyde Park resident Tom Kiefhaber, MD who walks the race with his wife Jan. “No one is ever in a hurry to finish the 10k race -  including us.” 
“I love to get my entire family - all 35 of us - n that starting line,” said Paul Dorger whose family won the Western & Southern Birds of a Feather Award for having the most family members at the event. “It’s the most fun our family can have at 9am on a holiday morning, and everyone is on time.”   

The Dorger clan - with John Barrett, Mike Brown and Julie Isphording - won the Western & Southern Birds of a Feather Family Award with 34 members of the family on the starting line last year…Now that’s a family tradition!
The run and walk is a holiday party among a bunch of close friends and families. It’s braving the cold and bringing a little razzle dazzle to a 10k trip around three cities, two states and a bridge or two.  
“The turkey can wait,” said Julie Kammerer.  “I love having my friends and family within arm’s reach. “These important traditions are gifts money can’t buy.”
The event is exactly like nothing else, especially for emcee Mike Brown. For 12 years running, Brown has stood on the podium at the Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day 10k in his flashy sequined Elvis outfit and talked and talked  - and talked some more. He has entertained and inspired thousands of runners, walkers and fans in the snow and cold, rain and ice and even a little bit of sunshine. 
“It’s so hard to explain the magic of it all.  I couldn’t imagine my holiday without standing on that podium and making people laugh, cheer and have fun,” Brown said.

The Roehr family without their running shoes on!  Ross, AJ, Alvin, Joan, Abby, and Elle love to walk the race each year. 
In addition to the family fun, the race raises thousands of dollars for charities like the UC Barrett Cancer Center and Girls on the Run; and it includes a Goodwill Coat Drive right at the start. Thousands of people bring a warm donation - coat, gloves, hats - and Goodwill volunteers personally collect the items.
"Our community is so inherently generous," says Crystal Faulkner, a partner at MCM  CPAs & Advisors, and the sponsor of the Goodwill  coat drive. "The coat drive is another wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day together.”
When local opera singer Mary Southworth takes the stage to sing our National Anthem, her voice is so outrageously wonderful, it takes your breath away. The famous Southworth has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera. “Singing to 15,000 people -  on their feet  -  with our beautiful city as a backdrop is literally breathtaking,” said Southworth, who is celebrating her sixth year with the event.  
The 10k Walk and Run also includes the McDonald’s Kids Run. The non-competitive loop course is on Second Street, and the kids start and finish at the official start and finish line race banners - just like Mom and Dad. Ronald McDonald greets each child at the finish with a shiny medal.  

The event is a Morgan family tradition as sponsors and participants.  Moira and Gary Morgan with their children Chas and Mary Cate.

Just imagine your whole family together on Thanksgiving Day morning - unstuffed, happy and oh, so healthy.
“It feels so good to have a huge guilt-free dinner after walking,” said Doug Kammerer. “More importantly, it’s a great way to spend time with so many people I haven’t seen in years.  I actually forget that I’m exercising.”    
The website  thanksgivingday.com has online  registration, plenty of training advice and healthy tips to help you lose weight, train smart and learn how great you can be. Packet pickup and additional registration is also available at The Running Spot by JackRabbit from November 18-22 and race day registration is at Paul Brown Stadium.
Everyone gets running gloves, a gift certificate from McDonald’s and lots of other free stuff. The 2017 long sleeve t-shirts are soft, high performance shirts with a new design created by renowned designer Wendy Bentley.

Whether family or friends, everyone enjoys the event before tackling a huge Thanksgiving meal!
The event is sponsored by many local companies, including Western & Southern, McDonald’s, TriHealth, TQL, The Running Spot by JackRabbit, Always, Busam Subaru, MCM CPAs & Advisors, Mt. Lookout Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center, Modo Yoga, Tillar Wenstrup Advisors, Roehr Agency, Simple Truth, Morgan’s Canoe Livery, Exercise & Leisure, Wealth Planning and Local 12. 
Habits become routines, routines become traditions and traditions become a part of our lives.  Make the W & S Thanksgiving Day Run and Walk a healthy tradition in your life.

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