The 2013 Thanksgiving Wattle, a 5K Run/Walk, returns to Grove City.
The 5K event, presented by Mount Carmel Health, will begin at 9 a.m. Nov. 28. The Primrose Children’s Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. The start/finish is located on Lamplighter Drive in Grove City, just south of AMC Theatres.
Last year in its debut, the event attracted 1,100 participants ranging in age from 5 to 91. More than $11,000 was raised and more than 2,000 pounds of canned food was donated.
Proceeds from the event will again benefit the Grove City Food Pantry and the Success Beyond the Classroom Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides extra-curricular activity scholarships for South-Western City School District students.
Prior to The Wattle, the largest run/walk in Grove City had about 300 participants. Mark Sigrist, Wattle event director and founder of Phoenix Events, was excited with the turnout and thinks it can grow to be a signature event on Thanksgiving Day for Grove City and southwest Franklin County.
“The concept of like-minded individuals coming together to celebrate health, celebrate life and to join in on a 3.1-mile course with others doing the same can be an inspiring occasion,” said Sigrist. “To do so on Thanksgiving morning, a day earmarked for family togetherness, makes the Thanksgiving morning opportunity all the more popular.”
Similar Thanksgiving Day Events in central Ohio attract 4,000 to 7,000 entries per year. This is not lost on Sigrist, however, who at age 52 is a self-declared health advocate and distance runner.
Sigrist said he believes that the strong local business backing has resulted in the Wattle entry fees being 25 to 40 percent lower than those at competing events, making it more appealing to families.
New to this year’s event will be the presentation of a Lifetime Impact Award. This annual award will honor someone from Franklin County’s southwest side who has been a health and wellness advocate. This year, Grove City native Richie Cohen-Smith will be recognized with the award. Cohen-Smith co-founded Front Runner on Lane Avenue and served as a trainer and mentor to many area athletes. There will be a gift to the city in his honor announced during pre-race ceremonies.
The cost for runners is $35 ($30 for those 18 years and under) and the children’s run, for children ages 10 and under, is $15. Leashed dogs will be allowed to participate with their owners at this year’s event. Participants are also allowed to use strollers.
Online registrations, sponsor links and more details can be found at thanksgivingwattle.com.