Baby, it’s cold outside! Gobble, Gobble Road Race.
Seventeen degrees Fahrenheit and thirty-nine MPH winds would keep even the most dedicated runners snuggled up under the covers, but not supporters of the Gobble, Gobble Road Race that benefits the Center of Hope Foundation’s Recreational /Special Olympics Program. This year we had an overwhelming increase of runners lacing up their shoes to run the 1 mile fun run/walk, 5k and 10K routes located in Southbridge on November 24, 2013. Since our first road race held in April of 2006 with 30 registered runners, we have grown to 258 participants.
Registration started at 8 a.m. in the Center of Hope’s Day Habilitation Program. The runners didn’t want to brave the cold just yet and took advantage of warming their bellies with Books and Beans coffee and hot chocolate, as well as checking out their goody bags donated from our event sponsors: Angel Guard, Lamoureux Ford, Metal Craft Machine, Performance Graphics, Rawson Materials, and Sid’s Auto Body. Many also chose to add an extra layer, wearing event t-shirts printed by Performance Graphics.
This year the Center formed a new partnership with Health Source Chiropractic in Auburn, MA. Dr. Adam Burch, with his trained and certified staff, pampered our runners before and after the race with rock tape applications, stretching assistance and chair massages. Educational information and the opportunity to inquire about preventative health care consultations were also offered.
Where is the bull horn when you need it? At 10 a.m., the runners huddled together to block the wind, while listening to the welcoming message and a brief reminder to the 5k runners not to turn their little jaunt into a 10K at the split of the Central/Foster Street intersection. Every year the signs get bigger and the screams get louder ‘5k-go this way!’, and even though there is a reminder at registration and the starting line, there are always a few who change their mind and take the scenic route.
The race is professionally timed (except for the Fun Run) by Last Mile Race Management using My Laps Bibs Chips. Medals were given out to the top three male and female finishers in all age groups and Thanksgiving turkeys to the top overall male and female finishers. Ribbons were also given out to every fun run/walk participant.
It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces such as our families, friends, staff, and program members participate in every way they could. Running alongside of the “Captains and Angels” of the Hoyt Team New England were many of our own Special Olympic athletes. The Gobble, Gobble Road race raises awareness and funds for the Center of Hope’s Recreational Program, providing entrance fees, uniforms, equipment and so much more for those participating in the program. Thank you once again to our community and all of our sponsors who make this and other events so rewarding!