44th YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run is a go

Beckley, WV (WOAY) – The YMCA of Southern West Virginia is pleased to announce that one of Beckley’s long standing traditions will go on as planned.

The 44th Annual YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run will take place the morning of Thursday, November 26, 2020 at the Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex with a couple of options. Not only can you choose to do the 5-Mile Run, 5-Mile Walk or the 1-Mile Family Fun Run, but participants can choose between doing the race in-person or virtually on their own. Either way, you’ll be able to work up an appetite prior to the day’s festivities with your family, while supporting your local Y. All proceeds will help benefit the non-profit charity as it refocuses its efforts to strengthen our communities going into next year.

“2020 has been challenging for all of us and providing some normalcy to our area through the programs, services and events that the Y offers will be critical moving forward.” YMCA CEO Jay Rist said.

He added,” The Thanksgiving Day Run will be our first event since we reopened and I know our organizers have worked hard to develop the virtual and in-person race options.”

The virtual choice allows participants to register for the race and do the runs or walk the week of Thanksgiving either following the actual race route or creating their own for the appropriate distance. Times will not be counted towards the overall placing of the in-person race, which will be traditional with just a few changes for the safety of everyone there, including touchless check-in and day of registration; staggering the start times for each of the runs and walk; and encouraging participants to wear masks prior to and following the race. Regardless of the way you do the race, preregistered racers will be guaranteed to receive some pretty cool race swag.

This year, participants will receive an official T-Day Run Race Bib, a Commemorative Event T-shirt and a Finisher Medal. Day of race registration will be offered but the race swag will only be available while supplies last. Awards will be presented to the Top 3 Male & Female finishers in the 5-Mile Run and the 5-Mile Walk.

“The fact that the event is almost 50 years old shows what a tradition it has been and continues to be for Beckley and Southern West Virginia,” Rist pointed out, saying, “It’s truly run now so you can gobble later, but the race brings families together, offers fellowship and provides great exercise.”

Rist credits the local support from individuals, businesses and organizations for the Y’s ability to conduct this year’s Thanksgiving Day Run.

“We’ve got the Godfather of the Beckley Running Resurgence, George Barbera, doing the timing for the in-person race and we’ve received strong community backing for the event,” he said.

This year’s race sponsors include AccessHealth, the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, Burger King, Bypass Pharmacy, City National Bank, the City of Beckley, The Dish Café, Eckley Orthodontics, Lawson Family Dentistry, Legacy FC, Little General, the Beaver Padrino’s, Pioneer Community Bank, Raleigh General Hospital, The UPS Store, Vaught, Inc., Visit Southern West Virginia and WVU Tech.

“Big THANK YOUs go out to all of you for helping make the 44th year possible.” said Rist.

Preregistration for both the virtual and in-person races is underway now at the Y. Race registration forms with additional information are available on-site at the Y’s recently renovated downtown facility located at 121 East Main Street in Beckley or by visiting www.ymcaswv.com/event/44th-annual-thanksgiving-day-run. The cost for the virtual race is $25 and the registration deadline is November 21st. The cost for the in-person 1-Mile Family Fun Run is $15 and the 5-Mile Run or Walk is $25 if you register prior to November 24th. Day of race registration, which will be held from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM at the complex, will cost $5 more, but it’s all for a great cause.

For more information on the 44th Thanksgiving Day Run or to support the Y, call (304) 252-0715.