Friday, November 29, 2013

The Feaster Five: So Much More Than a Road Race

Yesterday's blog was a recap of my experience of the Feaster Five. I alluded to how the events from the 2013 Boston Marathon was very much present as I went to the Expo and was palpable among the running community. I spoke about the love I experienced with the Merrimack Valley Striders who sponsor the race along with DMSE, Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises.

"The Merrimack Valley Striders is a 501c(3) organization whose mission statement is - "An organization whose mission is to encourage and enhance running at all levels". Organized in 1979, MVS has grown to be one of the largest running clubs in New England."

Because I was not near the start and many were not given the size of the field as reflected in this photo posted by Dave McGillivray on Facebook

I did not know that the race was dedicated to the Boston Marathon Bombing survivors and that Celeste Corcoran was the official starter for the race:

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

The race is geared for families and the average runner according to this article I found in the Eagle Tribune, "Top Racers Know Their Place in the Feaster Five" and that certainly was my personal experience.

But it is so much more than a road race.

"Several dozen runners yesterday wore the pink T-shirts, which read “Remember Ritzer,” in reference to Colleen Ritzer, the Andover native and teacher at Danvers High, who was murdered, allegedly by one of her students."

And some notes from our beloved race director, Dave McGillivray:

Here are some notes and nuggets sent to us by Feaster Five race director Dave McGillivary:

-- Final numbers were 10,616 entries, plus the number of kids who registered today. Last year, it was 10,720, so about 100 less this year.

-- About 55 percent women and 45 percent men.

-- 8,920 official starters (not including the kids) and 8,876 finishers.

-- For the first time ever, Monday-Wednesday online registration (no paper) was available, which worked great.

-- Weather on Wednesday, setting up, was difficult. Race day was much better even though it was cold.

-- A moment of silence for Colleen Ritzer and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

-- The Andover Police get very high grades, enhancing support once again, with Safety Officer Chuck Edgerly and Andover DPW leading the way.

-- Someone stole everything at one of the water stations - tables, barrels, cups, pitchers, rakes, shovels and trash bags. Crews had to go back to the DMSE warehouse to replace all that was stolen.

-- All three nonprofits - Ironstone Farms, Bellesini Academy, Merrimack Valley YMCA and the Merrimack Valley Striders - combined to raise well over $100,000.

-- A lot of the leftover food was donated to Lazarus House after the race.

It was my best race ever and as I read the press today, I discovered what I already knew that The Feaster Five is so much more than a road race and will become a Team McManus Thanksgiving tradition!

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