‘Hobble now, gobble later’: The Gobbler family run returns after pandemic hiatus; early registration open

Participants in the seventh annual Gobbler race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2019 | Photo courtesy of The Gobbler, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Thanksgiving is almost universally regarded as a day of overindulgence, but before sitting down for that giant family dinner, lace up your running shoes and work up an appetite. 

Participants in the seventh annual Gobbler race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2019 | Photo courtesy of The Gobbler, St. George News

The Gobbler family fun run is back. Inviting participants to “hobble now, gobble later,” the race features 10K and 5K runs along with a 1K kids run. Register now and save. 

“It’s a fun way for the family to get together on Thanksgiving morning and burn some calories before they eat,” said Steve Hooper, race director and owner of the St. George Running Center. “I love seeing families getting together and doing something healthy and fun, whether they’re coming out to race, jog, walk or be with the kids.”

Early registration is now open for the eighth annual event, which will be held at Crosby Family Confluence Park on Nov. 25. Participants can pick up their registration packets at the St. George Running Center the previous day. This year, The Gobbler has joined forces with Vista Healthcare, which is sponsoring the race T-shirts, and Camping World, which is sponsoring the race bibs.

The kids race will begin at 8 a.m. so parents have a chance to see their little ones compete. The 10K starts at 8:15 a.m., and the 5K takes off at 8:20 a.m. Stick around after the race for games, bounce houses, prizes for kids and much more.

Hooper said he’s expecting a couple of thousand runners, so don’t miss your chance to secure a commemorative T-shirt and headband. 

“Every year we do a different color, and people like collecting them,” he said, adding that all participants will also receive a swag bag. 

Participants in the seventh annual Gobbler race, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2019 | Photo courtesy of The Gobbler, St. George News

Last year’s race went virtual due to COVID-19, and race organizers refunded all registration fees. Social distancing will be encouraged at the event hub this year, and volunteers will be wearing gloves. Hooper said wave starts may also come into play depending on local health guidelines, but that decision will be made closer to race day.  

As in years past, participants can opt to make an additional donation to The Gobbler’s charity partner, which race organizers will match dollar-for-dollar. 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.

Race organizers are also bringing back the gratitude wall, on which participants can write what they’re most thankful for. 

Nationwide, more people participate in running events on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Hooper said he looks forward to continuing what has become a holiday tradition for many Southern Utah families.

The Gobbler was created by local brothers Collins and Adam Stuart, who 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, they 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,” Hooper said. “It’s a really positive, goofy, exciting, fun thing that families can do together.”

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T • 

Event details

  • What: The Gobbler 10K/5K/Kids Run.
  • When: Thursday, Nov. 25 starting at 8 a.m.
  • Where: Crosby Family Confluence Park, 1850 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.
  • Tickets: $28 for the 10K; $25 for the 5K; $13 for the kids run.
  • Resources: Website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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