Eyes on the 'pie': Feaster medals unveiled

Courtesy photo. Feaster Five Race Manager Tom Licciardello holds the medals that will be given out this year. Everyone who runs gets the gold medal shaped as a pie and everyone who runs the challenge — a 5K and 5-mile — gets the silver plate-shaped medal too.

Everyone who runs the Feaster Five will still get a pie this year. However, it will be a gold medal shaped like a pie, emblazoned with a running turkey, and not the traditional edible variety.

And those who step up to the new and even more vigorous Feaster Challenge — a combined 5K and 5-mile run — will get an additional silver medal that looks like a plate, which fits behind the pie medal.

"The whole world is shut down, but the world of virtual running is still on," said race Manager Tom Licciardello of North Andover.

The annual Feaster Five Thanksgiving road race is virtual this year because the crowd cannot safely gather.

Already, 1,000 people from 32 states and five countries have signed up for the event, which also includes a Kids' K, to be held during the week of Nov. 23 to 29, Licciardello said.

Licciardello has plans to run this year with his wife, daughter and grandson locally, while his other daughter joins from Connecticut.

"It's wonderful to have scattered family doing it on Thanksgiving," he said.

Licciardello has run the Boston Marathon and is participating in the New York City Marathon virtually this year, as well. 

"Like so many things this year, we are adapting and making the best of it," he said.

Stephanie Guyotte, a member of the marketing committee, is planning to run the 13K challenge over multiple days because she is recovering from an injury, she said.

If she had to run it all in one day she likely couldn't do that distance, she added.

She is also planning to set up a fun course for her children to run the Kid's K, she added.

The popular Couch to 5K training also went virtual this year. Participants meet up on Zoom every Sunday morning to talk and stretch together, Guyotte said. They then each get to run at their own pace in their own space, she said.

"We miss that community aspect (of gathering on Sunday mornings), but it's something people can check into and have that accountability," Guyotte said.

The 12-week conditioning program is also running virtually. Every adult who registers can access the program online and get three videos each week.

"Obviously it looks different this year but we want people to keep that Thanksgiving tradition alive," Guyotte said.

And the tradition expands across the world no matter how families and friends are separated.

A former Swedish exchange student who ran the race when he was living in the area is signed up, Licciardello said.

One family from Alaska, with the last name Feaster but with no known previous connection to the race, signed up as well, he added. 

"The race means so much to so many families, we decided 'let's make it the best virtual event we can,'" Guyotte said.



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