Running with Lourdes

68 year-old Lourdes Ribera has run the Thanksgiving Day Race for over 25 years. We asked her what she loves about the race, and what advice she has for those who haven't yet committed to this year's race.

Q1. Where are you from?
I am originally from Riberalta, Bolivia, a small town nestled in the middle of the Amazon jungle. My father was a Senator and we fled the country with the clothes on our backs and relocated to Peru. I came to the States at the age of 17 to go to school in Boston. I started running at the age of 30.

Q2. How many times have you run the Thanksgiving Day Race?
I have run the race for over 25 years

Q3. Have you ever missed a year?
I don't remember…maybe two or three.

Q4. How long do you plan to run in the race?
I plan to run for as long as I am able – Have never been injured.

Q5. What keeps you so dedicated to running?
Running has given me a new lease on life. I run because I feel great when I run. It seems to cleanse my mind and stop my thoughts for a while. It is meditative.

Q6. Sounds like the race is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Yes. I run the race and celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday. I have my family trained. After the race, I take a nice long bath and relax.

Q7. What's your favorite part of the race?
Looking at the River on the way back to Cincinnati. At this point in the race I feel strong and determined to finish. I am 68 years old, but I pass many young people who have not trained properly. I usually encourage them along the way.

Q8. What's your favorite race memory?
I like the finish line where everyone meets and greets. I used to like going to the Convention Center after the race and witness the winners. This was a long time ago.

Q9. What are you looking forward to most this year?
I will be running with a friend for the first time. This will be great. I hope the weather is sunny and warm.

Q10. What's your advice for those who may be considering participating in this year's race, but haven't committed yet?
I recommend that they register. Once you register you are committed. The feeling of euphoria and well-being cannot be described.