CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Who says Thanksgiving has to be a day of total gluttony? Lace up your running shoes on Thursday, Nov. 23, and squeeze in some pre-eating activity at The Gobbler. This fun, family-friendly race has something for everyone. 

Scenes from The Gobbler’s 9th annual race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 24, 2022 | Photo courtesy of St. George Running Center, St. George News

Now in its 10th year, The Gobbler invites participants of every ability level to “hobble now, gobble later.” The day’s events will start early, allowing participants to make some room in their bellies before they feast on Thanksgiving dinner at home. Runners can choose between 5K and 10K distances, and there’s also a 1K fun run for kids ages 11 and younger. 

“This is definitely one of those traditions that people should wrap their arms around, because it really is fun,” said Dan Aamodt, event manager for the St. George Running Center. “The vibe and the feeling at this event is unmatched.”

The 1K kids’ run starts at 8 a.m. so parents can watch their little ones before burning some calories of their own. The 10K will begin at 8:15 a.m., and the 5K distance starts at 8:20 a.m.

Age group winners will receive a pumpkin pie to take home for their Thanksgiving feast, and everyone can enjoy post-race food at the finish line. The Gobbler also features activities for all ages, including games, bounce houses, selfie stations and photos with Tom Turkey, so stick around after you run for even more fun. 

Registration costs $19 for the 1K kids’ run, $37 for the 5K and $54 for the 10K. All prices will increase on Monday, Nov. 20, so don’t wait to sign up. Registration fees include The Gobbler’s signature headband and T-shirt for every runner. 

Scenes from The Gobbler’s 9th annual race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 24, 2022 | Photo courtesy of St. George Running Center, St. George News

New this year is a unique finisher’s medal celebrating The Gobbler’s 10th anniversary. Runners can choose to add the medal to their registration for an extra fee.

Runners can pick up their registration packets at the St. George Running Center, located at 2736 E. Red Cliffs Drive #5 in St. George, on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. and Wednesday between noon and 7 p.m.

Participants are also encouraged to make a donation to The Gobbler’s charity partner. Again this year, the race will be raising money for the Dove Center, a nonprofit organization working to provide safety and shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse and sexual violence in the St. George area. Race organizers will match every dollar donated by runners during the registration process. 

The Gobbler was created by St. George locals Collins and Adam Stuart, who were inspired by their family tradition of going for a run on Thanksgiving morning before indulging in turkey, stuffing and all the sides. As their circle of runners grew to extended family, friends and beyond, they decided to start hosting a race for the whole community to enjoy. Participation continues to grow, with about 2,000 runners expected this year. 

Scenes from The Gobbler’s 9th annual race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 24, 2022 | Photo courtesy of St. George Running Center, St. George News

Nationwide, more people participate in running events on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. And just like the race’s founders, Aamodt hopes The Gobbler will remain a tradition among Southern Utah families for years to come. 

“Anybody is welcome. If you want to walk it, great. If you want to run it, awesome,” he said. “You don’t have to be competitive to participate. We just want you to come celebrate the holiday and celebrate being together in a fun and memorable way.”

The Gobbler is sponsored by Planet 105.1, Dairy Farmers of America and My Team MD.

Event details

What: The Gobbler 10K/5K/1K Kids Run.
When: Thursday, Nov. 23 starting at 8 a.m.
Where: Dixie Convention Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.
Tickets: $54 for the 10K; $37 for the 5K; $19 for the 1K kids’ run.
Resources: Website.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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