Wobble and Gobble! The Thanksgiving Day Race is coming your way! Submitted

BETHEL — The fifth annual Thanksgiving Day Race will take place on Thursday, Nov. 25 at 9 a.m., where runners can pay an entry fee of $20 to run or walk the 5K that weaves through Bethel. The race will start at The Gem Theater, where racers can go inside and register and receive a long-sleeved shirt.

Past races have seen people in costumes. Teams have had a massive inflatable turkey and the good ol’ cowbell which volunteers ring.

“It’s kind of turned into a family tradition,” says UMass-Amherst student and part-time Bethel resident, Loeden Rodrigues, who won the race in 2017, 2018, and 2020 (remotely).

“My family’s run it, we missed out in the last year just because of COVID, but we’ve run it for the last few years and it kind of kicks off the holiday season. I run it with my sister and my parents and then we come home we start getting ready for Thanksgiving.

“We see my grandparents and my aunts. It gives us an opportunity to kick off the holiday season and on top of that, it’s just a fun event, and just kind of the sense of community that it brings together, especially because Bethel’s such a small town and my grandmother’s from there and so we still have connection but just being able to see everyone is really nice.”

“We call it a race, but it’s mostly about getting out of the house before you spend the rest of the day cooking and eating … [it’s] to try to get some fresh air in there,” says Volunteer Cassie Mason.


The event is free for all SAD44 students. Residents can register in advance, or the day of at 8 a.m. at The Gem Theater. It is encouraged to register in advance to guarantee your shirt and size. For anyone doing the race virtually, everything will be mailed to them.

There are prizes for first, second, and third place, as well as different age groups and different genders. In the past, they have given out medals.

The 5k is a nonprofit race. All proceeds go to University of Maine 4-H, through the Bryant Pond Learning Center. Through the race, there is one serious hill. And if you aren’t able to run or walk, feel free to volunteer!

“We are always looking for volunteers, there are bags to stuff, there are bibs to hand out,” explains Mason. “And we’re growing. We started with, I want to say, like 40 runners the first year and we’ve just grown, grown, and grown. I’m expecting between virtual and in person, at least 100 this year. I mean that’s the projection … .”

“It’s a really fun, it’s a small town local race, but you know, it’s a good time,” adds Mason. “I think there have been adult beverages available for sale the morning of. It’s just something different; good way to start off the holiday.”

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