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November 20. 2012 11:12PM

Fisher Cats 5K to draw big crowd of runners


Janine Ryan of Manchester was in the spirit of the season when she ran the first ever Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day 5K in a turkey costume. (Bruce Preston / Union Leader File)

Earning your bird

At least 15 New Hampshire communities offer road races on Thanksgiving morning. They include the following:
Bow: fourth annual Bow Police Association 5K Turkley Trot (5K), 8 a.m., Bow High School.
Concord: 14th annual Galloping Gobbler 4-Mile Race, 9 a.m., Bishop Brady High School, 25 Columbus Ave.
Derry: 39th annual Greater Derry Turkey Trot, 9 a.m., Galliens Town Beach.
Gilford: Gilford Youth Center Turkey Trot 5K, 9 a.m., Gilford Youth Center.
Keene: 34th annual Cranberry Run (4.5 miles), 9 .m., Keene Recreation Center.
Madison: Madison Thanksgiving Day 5K, 9 a.m., King Pine Ski Area.
Manchester: second annual Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day 5K, 9 a.m., Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Nashua: Great Gobbler Thanksgiving 5K, 8 a.m., Nashua High School South.
Nottingham: Dunbarton Estates Turkey Trot (5K), 8 a.m., corner of Francesca Way and Michela Way.
Portsmouth: fourth annual Turkey Trot (5K), 8:30 a.m., Peirce Island.
Rochester: Rochester Runners Free Fall 5K, 8:30 a.m., Rochester Community Center.
Sandwich: Mount Washington Pony Club 5K Turkey Trot, 9 a.m., Sandwich Fairgrounds.
Sunapee: sixth annual Lake Sunapee Turkey Trot (5K), 9 a.m., Sunapee Harbor Gazebo.
Whitefield: Severance Wilderness Trail Run (3 miles), 8:30 a.m., Severance Homestead.
Windham: 18th Windham Turkey Trot (3- and 5-mile races), 9 a.m., 70 Blossom Road.

With ideal weather forecast for Thursday, more than 2,500 participants are expected to compete in the second annual Fisher Cats Thanksgiving 5K, presented by MVP Health Care.

The road race takes the starter's gun at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, just outside the right field fence at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.

In-person registration is available at the ballpark today from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday morning from 7:30-8:45 a.m.

In conjunction with this evening's registration, the Fisher Cats are hosting a Thanksgiving Eve party where participants, including pre-registered runners, can pick up their bib number and shirt.

More than 2,300 runners have pre-registered for the event.

"We encourage runners, walkers, baby strollers, you name it to come out and exercise on Thanksgiving morning," said race director and Millennium Running founder John Mortimer. "In only the second year of the event, it is the largest Thanksgiving race in New Hampshire, and this race is about families and traditions."

The Fisher Cats and Millennium Running have selected the NH Hospital for Children as the official charity for this year's race.

"We are excited to see the growth of this event as a new family Thanksgiving tradition," said Fisher Cats President Rick Brenner. "With our partners at Millennium Running and the event's presenting sponsor, MVP Health Care, we enjoy being a part of a fun event that benefits the outstanding work of New Hampshire's Hospital for Children."

The race route takes an out-and-back course heading north on Canal Street before returning south on Comercial Street through the Mill District. Participants enter the stadium in right field, circle the warning track and finish near third base.

Canal and Commercial streets will be closed to traffic from approximately 9-10 a.m. for the race, the sixth in the seven-race MVP Health Care Millenium Running Series.

"Currently, we have 407 people on track to complete the series," noted Mortimer.

The final series event is the Santa Claus Shuffle which takes over Elm Street in Manchester prior to the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 1. There are currently 2,400 pre-registrants for that race.

For information on the Fisher Cats race or the Shuffle, contact Keith Tharp at 490-0810 or email KTharp@MillenniumRunning.com.

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