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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The 108th Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Walk/Run

 Celebrate Your Healthiest Thanksgiving Ever with the Whole Family
By Julie Isphording

The Dorger Family won the 2016 Western & Southern Birds of a Feather Family  Award, with 34 family members on the starting line last year…now that is a family tradition! Pictured here with John Barrett
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 on the holiday is the only thing that really matters,” said Todd Warstler, an executive at P & G who runs the race with his three boys. “I actually forget that I’m exercising.”   

The Warstler family will most likely be leading the pack at the 108th Annual Thanksgiving Day Race. Front row: Dede and Todd Warstler; back row: Alex, Ben and Coleman 
The Warstlers are a family of athletes, connected by their love of running and an equal passion for great tennis. Well known at the Indian Hill Club for their community spirit and skill on the trails and courts, Todd, DeDe, Alex, Ben and Coleman graciously posed for our camera as ambassadors for this annual Cincinnati event.
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. 
“I love to get my entire family—all 35 of us—on 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 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.
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, hat —and Goodwill volunteers personally collect the items. 

The Roehr family without their running shoes on! Ross, AJ, Alvin, Joan, Abby, and Elle love to walk the W&S Thanksgiving Race every year.
"Our community is so inherently generous," says Alvin Roehr, the CEO of The Roehr Agency, and the official insurer of the event. "The coat drive and the charitable aspect of the race is another wonderful way to kick off the holiday season and celebrate everything good about Cincinnati.”

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. 

Memorable moments from last year’s Thanksgiving Day Race
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 TriHealth hand surgeon Tom Kiefhaber, MD who walks the race with his wife Jan. “More importantly, it’s a great way to spend time with so many people I haven’t seen in years. We are never in a hurry to finish.”

The website 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 Nov. 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.

The event is sponsored by lots of 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 Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Run and Walk a healthy tradition in your life.  

Memorable moments from last year’s Thanksgiving Day Race

Do You Know Her?  We’re Sure You Do!
Nominate Your Favorite Mother, Daughter, Friend to be an Official Starter of the W & S Thanksgiving Day 10k

For the first time in race history, a hundred special women and girls will be nominated to ‘ring in’ the official start of the Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day 10k Walk/Run. 

The exciting new feature of the race is sponsored by Always, a P & G product that empowers women to live life without limits through trusted feminine care products and confidence and puberty education.

Do you know that woman who is always involved in something — making a difference in her community and the lives she touches?  She simply radiates an inner charisma. She’s deeply good. She always makes you feel funny and valued. You often catch her looking after other people and inspiring them with her extraordinary strength, bravery and perseverance.

She is the one who goes the extra mile to help make life better for others.  

She’s the one that Always and Western & Southern want you to nominate to join 99 other woman on the race-start stage to celebrate the official start of this year’s 108th event.

No other race in the world celebrates women and girls like Cincinnati’s Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race 10k Walk/Run. 

For more information or to nominate that special woman or girl, go to Honorees will be chosen by a selection committee.

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