More than 10,000 people started their Thanksgiving with one of the five road races throughout the Kansas City area. Organizers at each run said their event was wrapped up before any hard rain fell.
The 26th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Run & Family Stroll, on the Sprint Campus in Overland Park, drew 3,106 participants, said Sarah Dee, the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation’s director of events.
“We had 4,000 registered,” she said, so the weather might have held down attendance. “But we had a good race, and good energy.”
The race benefits the commission, a nonprofit that promotes area amateur and professional sports, and its Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City, which encourages the lifetime values of sports and fitness for girls and women. A food and toy drive for Catholic Charities also was conducted in conjunction with the race.
The Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day 5K Run & Walk, whose dozen-plus sponsors include the Kansas City Track Club and Ward Parkway Center, had 3,756 runners and walkers this year, said organizer Nancy English. And 127 of those registered the day of the race, she said, apparently seeing that the heavy rain was likely to hold off till after the race.
The Ward Parkway race this year benefited Harvesters and The Single MOM (Moms Overcoming Mountains) KC, which helps single-mother families through small groups, personal relationships, regional events and networking.
In midtown, the Hyde Park Pilgrim Run drew 1,200 participants, said Andrew Johnson, executive director of the Pilgrim Center, whose children’s programs benefit from the race proceeds.
“The sun even broke through right before the race,” he said.
The event included sprints for young children after the 5K, he said, and the storm held off long enough for about 60 youngsters to get in their sprints.
North of the river, the 28th annual Parkville Turkey Trail Trot 5K had 2,070 participants, said organizer Pat Walsh. The race benefits Parkville’s English Landing Park, animal shelter and wildlife refuge.
And the sixth annual Liberty Giving Thanks 5K drew more than 400 participants. It benefits Hillcrest Hope, which helps homeless people become self-sufficient.