Hundreds of runners, family and friends showed up bright and early to Gobble on the Green 5K (3.1 miles) run at the Village Green on Thanksgiving to work up a sweat before diving into the day’s festivities. Runners were clad in turkey hats, red tootoos, elf ears, and many other imaginative accessories for their 9 a.m. race time.
Ann Self, executive director of the Village Green, is the brainchild of the event and set the wheels in motion after a friend asked her if Cashiers had a Thanksgiving 5K.
“We wanted to accomplish two things,” said Self. “To organize something fun for friends and family on Thanksgiving and to help support the Village Green. “People don’t realize we have a $180,000 a year budget and every penny is from private funding.”
When researching and planning Gobble on the Green, Self looked at other 5Ks in the area and tried to predict what to expect for Cashiers’ first Thanksgiving run. She said Sylva, N.C., has an annual Thanksgiving run and they average about 100 participants a year. A week before race-time Gobble on the Green had 300 participants, as of race-time there were over 600 with a lengthy line of willing runners still hoping to sign up. The race started a half-hour late to accommodate the volume of runners and the race was on.
Hayden Troy from Minneapolis, Minn., was the first male to cross the finish line with a time of 17:55.
“It’s just super fun to get outside and get some exercise,” said Troy. “It was a beautiful course through the woods.”
Carter Monroe from Atlanta, Ga., was the first female to finish the race with a time of 21:29.
“This is perfect,” said Monroe. “It gets you off of the couch and you get some family-exercise time.”
Like many of the other runners justifying breaking their culinary-code of ethics for a night of dietary-caution to the wind, Will Mathiowdis of Highlands, N.C., said when you know you’re going to be piling on the Thanksgiving fixings onto your plate, a run helps set a good foundation.
“It gets you ready for the turkey, stuffing, everything, it’s great,” said Mathiowdis. “This is the first year and I wasn’t expecting it, and then to get the numbers (of participants) they have is awesome. The community needs more events like this.”
John Vogler was visiting family from Winston-Salem, N.C., and was happy to hear the Village Green was hosting a 5K run.
“It brings everybody together,” said Vogler. “It’s good for Cashiers, it shows that this community really cares. All these people showing up today, it’s great.”
Part-time Cashiers resident Emily Hardy said she remembers running Thanksgiving 5Ks as a child and was happy the Village Green has started it up this year.
“It’s so good to come to Cashiers and celebrate with good people, and all the new people we’ve met today,” said Hardy. “Plus, later tonight we can eat as much as we want.”
Self said she was “overjoyed” at the turnout and could not have organized Gobble on the Green without the help of many volunteers.
“They have gone above and beyond,” said Self. “I am so appreciative of them taking the time on Thanksgiving to do this. I’m so thankful, this would absolutely not be possible without the volunteers.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
Follow us on Instagram: @plateaudailynews
Like us on Facebook here