Thousands lace up for Thanksgiving Day 10K

Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-26 11:32:59-05

CINCINNATI - It's a race to celebrate the day of giving, but it was quickly spoiled by greed.

Organizers of the 106th annual Thanksgiving Day 10K Race have made changes so folks don't walk away with boxes of snacks for hungry runners like they did last year. More than 17,000 runners will take part this year.

With the excitement building for Thursday's race, long-time organizer Julie Isphording recalled the disappointment that almost prompted her to quit last year.

"I was going to resign last year after the event. It was kind of a sad way to end the race for me," said Cincinnati's most famous marathoner.

But the 1984 Olympian and former winner of the LA Marathon had a change of heart and with a little reorganization the problems of last year she says will be gone


 "The exciting thing about this year is that we took a negative and turned it into a really cool positive. For the first time ever, we're going to have the  Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign kickoff, so there will lots of ringing bells and the kettle at the finish line," she said.

And the crowd headed toward the food will be better managed, too.

"All the food is going to be lined up on Elm Street with bike racks so that you can funnel in with a snake line this year. We have 100 extra volunteers from the Salvation Army and we also have added security and less food," she said.

While Isphording acknowledges there was stealing, some runners explained that they were actually told by a young volunteer to take as many meal bars as they wanted.

"I'm sure that whatever confusion that happened last year regarding the food distribution is going to be corrected this year," said runner Jim Garner

Krista Powers, development director with the Alzheimers Association, says the event is a great way to support local charities.

"We have a team of all stars race for the brain so we have people who are walking and running and doing more work for Alzheimer's research and care," she said.

The race started at Paul Brown Stadium, then went up through Vine Street, past Fountain Square to East Liberty Street and then back to the Taylor Southgate Bridge. Then it went over to Fourth Street in Covington back to Ohio via the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

Volunteers and races donated coats and winter clothes to Goodwill as part of the race's charitable mission. Organizers said they've collected about 30,000 pounds of clothes over the past five years.

The Salvation Army's red kettle campaign benefited from the race this year as well.