CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Washington County have unfortunately forced the cancellation of The Gobbler family run on Thanksgiving Day – but all is not lost.
“Let’s try to keep the fun and energy alive that we’ve always had in every other year,” said Steve Hooper, race director and owner of the St. George Running Center.
Along these lines, Hooper is encouraging people to keep the spirit of the event alive and get out and run before sitting down for the big meal. Official The Gobbler sweatbands commemorating the eighth annual race are available for pickup at the St. George Running Center through Nov. 25 or while supplies last. Families may take up to five sweatbands at no cost.
On Thanksgiving morning, put those sweatbands to use on a walk, hike or run on your favorite trail with your favorite loved ones in tribute to the legacy of The Gobbler. Hooper encourages participants to share pictures of themselves enjoying the outdoors on social media using the hashtag #StGeorgeGobbler.
The Gobbler was created by local brothers Collins and Adam Stuart and invited participants to “hobble now, gobble later.” The Stuarts were inspired by their own family tradition of going for a run on Thanksgiving morning before indulging in the obligatory feast. As their circle of runners grew to extended family, friends and beyond, the Stuart brothers decided to start hosting a race for the whole community to enjoy.
“They wanted to make it something that everybody can do, something healthy and unifying to start off their Thanksgiving holiday with,” Hooper said. “It’s a really positive, goofy, exciting, fun thing that families can do together.”
Hooper said everyone involved with The Gobbler was holding out hope that this year’s race could proceed as planned. Runners who already registered have received a full refund, save for the contributions of those who chose to make a donation to The Gobbler’s charity partner. As in years past, those funds will benefit the Dove Center, an organization working to provide a haven for women and children seeking safety and shelter in the St. George area. Hooper hopes the community will continue to support the organization even though this year’s event isn’t taking place.
Nationwide, more people participate in running events on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Hooper said he looks forward to the return of The Gobbler in 2021 and continuing what has become a holiday tradition for many Southern Utah families.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- St. George Running Center | Address: 2736 E. Red Cliffs Drive #5, St. George | Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Telephone: 435-628-7766 | Website.
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