Ah, Thanksgiving morning! Time to slip on those bunny house shoes, wrap up in that snuggly robe, and settle in for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the kiddos. Meanwhile, someone makes sure that a glorious feast is prepared to be devoured in time to spend the rest of the day watching your teams plow through the football fields of America while paying homage to the athletic prowess of these modern-day harvesters of goals and extra points. Or one could rise from their slumber, put the turkey in the oven, and get out into the day to give thanks for the life and health that they have been given.
On Thanksgiving morning this year, Guthrie folk will have a perfect opportunity to do something to enhance their holiday morning by getting in motion. Tri Youth Racing, owned by Roger Gartman, is holding a 5K race, with shorter distances of one mile, a half mile and a quarter mile runs also included.
All ages are encouraged to take part in this officially timed event. Younger children usually just watch this type of event because they don’t think that they can do the mile. The shorter distances should be inviting to children of all ages. Children aged three, five, and seven are already signed up to run. Their parents are also entered and will be running their own course. Electronic timing chips will be used to keep track of each runner’s progress.
“You know, most fun runs are only a mile and a lot of kids show up and want to do those, but it can be kind of defeating because a mile for a five-year-old is like a mini marathon,” Gartman said. “If they don’t make it, it gives them that sense of failure. So, if you add these shorter distances that they can do, then it gives them a feeling of accomplishment and it makes them want to do more because everyone is yelling for them. You know, it makes them feel like a winner,” Roger Gartman, owner of Tri Youth Racing, said.
Gartman is a Guthrie native. He entered the world of triathlons 36 years ago and has competed in some of the most important triathlons in the world. He created Tri Youth Racing because of his interest in helping young people become more physically active and healthy. He puts on several races per year around Oklahoma and will be expanding into Kansas in 2020 by adding his Nothin’ But Chiks Mini/Sprint Triathlon in Wichita after hosting the first one in Guthrie this year.
It’s a bare-bones event; no shirts, no medals, no awards, although he has found 30 of his medals that say Finisher on it that will be given to any kids that participate and finish—until they are gone. Once Gartman runs out of medals, he’ll print certificates with the times on them via his chip software.
“It’s kind of a low-key, no-frills, come have some fun type of event so if we don’t get started until 7:40 because we are entering people then it will be ok,” Gartman said.
Online registration isn’t available but you can pre-register at firstname.lastname@example.org by sending your first and last name and date of birth. He will enter it into the system and your timing chip will be ready to go when you get there. The race fee is $20 and is payable directly to Gartman the morning of the race beginning at 6:45 a.m. This saves the additional handling fees that are usually passed on to the participant.
The starting and finishing point will be set up at Cleveland and 2nd St. near the bowling alley. A route map may be found at www.triyouthracing.com. According to the website, “The course is set with some downhill and uphill streets (some are original brick streets) and wind around through one of the local parks (Mineral Wells Park). There are a few turns as well as some long straights.”
Gartman stated, “It’s the start of something that I think can really grow. Giving people the chance to get out and active and just having fun on Thanksgiving morning.”
So, don’t just sit there! Get up and get going!