The Feaster Five Road Race, a Thanksgiving Day tradition that annually attracts thousands of runners and walkers of all levels, is back to a full in-person race with World Marathon Challenge finisher Becca Pizzi of Belmont serving as the 2021 grand marshal.
The 34th annual race day takes place Thursday with a kids’ fun run at 7:45 a.m., at the track at Balmoral Park, Andover, and the 5K/5-Mile run beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pizzi has run more than 80 marathons and, in 2016, was the first American woman to run the World Marathon Challenge—seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. She did the challenge again in 2018.
“It is my honor to serve as 2021 grand marshal for this race,” Pizzi said. “I first ran the Feaster Five when I was 12 years old, and it has since become my favorite way to kick off Thanksgiving,” she said.
Presented by the Merrimack Valley Striders running club, Feaster Five raises money to support the club’s high school scholarship program. Additional beneficiaries of the 2021 race are the Merrimack Valley YMCA, Bellesini Academy of Lawrence and Groundwork Lawrence.
Due to continuing COVID-19 concerns, there will be a bib pickup beginning today, from 3-7 p.m., at the Merrimack Valley YMCA, in lieu of the traditional pre-race expo. Registered runners will be able to come to the Y to pick up their race bib and race packet. Mask wearing during bib pick up is strongly encouraged and on-site registration is also permitted.
Tom Licciardello, chair of the race organizing committee, said “The chance to once again gather with friends and family will be especially emotional for all of us this year. Our race director, Dave McGillivray, and our entire Organizing Committee are excited to see all of our past participants and new, young and old, back again to celebrate a day of family, fitness, and fun.”
There are more details and registration at feasterfive.com.