On Thanksgiving morning I joined my Cruiser and MRTT friends for the 22nd annual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K. It’s become a fun tradition that I couldn’t imagine skipping. This fun race has 10K, 5K, and 2K distances so there’s a fit for everyone!

Packet pick-up was super easy, and even though I couldn’t get there until about an hour after it opened, I was still able to beat the after-work crowds.  Packet pick-up is held in the main hall at Crossroads Methodist Church, the race’s founder.  Race proceeds go to support education for children in Uganda. From the website:

Whether you run to win, run for fun, run to support a good cause, or run just because you want a guilt- free day of eating – plan to join us for the 22nd year of these fun Thanksgiving Day races! Proceeds from the races continue to support 96 Ugandan children who live in poverty and are extremely vulnerable, a mission of Crossroads UMC since 1999 – they would not be able to continue their education without the financial support raised by these events and committed participants like you! Crossroads UMC Uganda mission currently supports 30 elementary children plus 66 children in secondary and vocational schools.




Once again the shirts were long sleeved cotton, and it blows my mind every year at the number of people I see running the race in the shirt. I would die from overheating… Each year I hope for technical fabric, but at this point I have a feeling that it’s never going to happen.


Several friends met at our house and joined us for the walk to the race start. Erin and I hurried to meet our MRTT friends for our pre-race picture at our designated location at 8 AM. Bill was stopped along the way and asked to take pictures of some other people. We had to wait a few minutes for him to catch up, but the wait was worth it with this great picture.


Photo courtesy of Bill


As soon as we got our pictures taken care of the 10K racers had to jump into the starting corral for their 8:15 AM start. I saw Woodrow Wilson waiting for the start, so I stopped for a GoPro selfie with him. He doesn’t look amused…


Before the 10K started, our friend Lesley gave a shout-out to our MRTT runners. In fact, not only did we have the second most number of members participating from any group in the race, but our 5K team placed third in the team division!


Photo courtesy of Bill


Once the 5K starting corral opened up, Daniel and I jumped in pretty close to the starting line (about ten rows back). Even with starting that close to the front, I still had to dodge a few people early on who had to stop and walk within a half mile of the start. Later some of my speedy friends told me that they had started way back and realized their mistake very quickly.

This is a huge community race, so many people are out to have a fun morning run/walk, and anyone planning to race it needs to seed themselves accordingly. Since I wasn’t getting passed and didn’t have to run around too many people, I felt I’d seeded myself pretty well.

About five minutes before race-time I started my Garmin. Unfortunately, it didn’t find a signal until about a quarter mile into the race.


After a few brief words about the beneficiaries of the race and a prayer of thanksgiving by Pastor Dave, Lesley got us started. As we headed out she reminded us that running 3.1 miles would burn off about the same number of calories as in one slice of pie.


Photo courtesy of Bill


One of my MRTT friends’ husband had a drone filming the start of the race and made this video. As you can see, it was certainly a beautiful day for a race!


Daniel and I had planned to race each other, but he took off like lightning at the start. He pulled ahead and I lost him, but saw at the turn-around that he wasn’t too far in front of me. He finished in 24:41 (7:58 pace) – I should have pushed harder to catch him!


Photo courtesy of Bill


I finished about thirty seconds after Daniel, and just as I crossed the finish line, but before I came to a stop, two teenage guys came sprinting in behind me trying to beat each other. One of them plowed into me from behind almost knocking me down, and in the process caused me to step funny and jam my back. Fortunately after some initial short-term pain, my back didn’t bother me again.

My time of 25:08 (8:06 pace) gave me second place in my age group out of 38 women. I’ve gotten slower this year, and I’m not sure why. Last year most of my 5K’s were under 25 minutes, and I’ve yet to run a sub-25 this year. I’ve got one more race on Sunday. We’ll see…


Photo courtesy of Bill


As soon as I caught my breath and grabbed a bottle of water, I joined Bill to scout out our other friends running in toward the finish line so he could snap some pictures. Janet and Meredith (Julie’s mom and sister) weren’t too far behind – slowed down by a cranky ankle.


Photo courtesy of Bill


Soon after we saw Aaron finishing the 5K…


Photo courtesy of Bill


And then Cruiser Joe…


Photo courtesy of Bill


Here comes Angela finishing the 10K…


Photo courtesy of Bill


And Erin coming in at 10K PR pace…


Photo courtesy of Bill


And I loved seeing Melissa and her daughter finishing the 5K together!


Photo courtesy of Bill


After most of our friends finished the race, we continued to hang out near the finish line just in case, so we wouldn’t miss anyone.


Photo courtesy of Bill


Erin continued to celebrate her new 10K PR!


Photo courtesy of Bill


One the way back to the church I ran into this turkey. I asked if she’d run in that costume and she just laughed. I think she felt like she was already in a roasting pan!


Since Bill and I were hosting brunch immediately after the race, my friend Carrie picked up my medal at the awards ceremony. Thank you, Carry!


Back at our house we enjoyed both banana bread and pumpkin cake, washed down by mimosas and coffee. It makes for a busy Thanksgiving morning each year, but I wouldn’t trade this tradition for anything.


Photo courtesy of Ravi


As on previous Thanksgiving mornings, we had another great race, another enjoyable post-race brunch, and another great start to our Thanksgiving Day! Thank you, friends, for making it so fun!


  • Questions:
  • What’s the best costume you’ve seen at a race?
  • What’s your favorite type of pie? Pumpkin, apple, or pecan?
  • Did you run on Thanksgiving Day?