Why We Run: Inspirational Stories of our Runners and Walkers

Below are just some of the inspirational stories we've received. You can tell us your "Why We Run" story during online registration for the 2018 event or via our contact form - located here.

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Why We Run

I will be running this year from FOB Fenty in Afghanistan. I am a Cincinnatian and work at University Hospital's Trauma Center. I am currently deployed to theater as a member of the 624th Forward Surgical Team (FST). My run will be around our airfield and I will have to make two laps to total 10K. I plan to try to run virtually with my daughter who will be running in Cincinnati. We are 88 1/2 hours in front of Cincinnati time so I will be running in the middle of the afternoon

Jay - 60

My best friend since high school did it in high school to feel like "grown ups," and the tradition just continued ever since.

Evan - 21

I ran this race over a decade ago. It was a bit rainy but a lot of fun. Now, my husband and I are visiting my family and are running it for fun and also for corral placement for a Disney run!!

Jennifer - 38

I Love the Thanksgiving Day 10K!! Running through Cincy and seeing all the the city and surrounding areas have to show off make it fun. I Ran in the 100 year t-day run and coming back to do it again after moving away to Chicago will be fun!!!

Melissa - 36

I've always wanted to run in the Thanksgiving Day Race and this year will be my first time. I love the people, adrenaline, and holiday!

Brittany - 34

To stay healthy and feel free to enjoy turkey. Also like to support charity organizations.

Susan - 34

I've ran this race the past two years and I absolutely love it! I love getting a workout in before my thanksgiving meal and this year I hope to bring my boyfriend with me, it will be our 1 yr and he doesn't run so this race will be a motivator for him to start doing more cardio!

Hibba - 23

Put the turkey in the oven, run a 10K and go home to enjoy the day with a glass of champagne! Love this race!

Jennifer - 47

It is a great day to be thankful for so many things and starting with a run is invigorating!

Kelly - 56

I have run this race for the past six years with a friend from work. The first year I ran the race it was the day after my father-in-law passed away. So each year after that I run in his memory.

William - 49

All the people there! a blast and great way to socialize with friends during the walk!!

Patrick - 66

I have been doing this race for 6 years in a row, this will be my 7th year. It has become a tradition for me.

Mauricio - 36

Family Tradition!

Aaron - 43

I love my hometown of Cincinnati, and I enjoy seeing the city and running off the calories I am about to consume on Thanksgiving!

Stein - 54

Grew up in Cincinnati. I ran the race in high school and I like the tradition of running on Thanksgiving.

Mark - 27

I run the Thanksgiving Day 10K for tradition, to run with my mom and for that second helping of mashed potatoes!

Amanda - 31

I run the Thanksgiving Day 10K because of the environment and heavy encompassment of excitement. The feeling I get standing at the start line with thousands of others filled with excitement as well is indescribable. Cincinnati is an amazingly gorgeous city as well, and the course gives you a great "tour" of the city.

Jacob - 24

It's my tradition. I didn't start running until a couple of years before my first Thanksgiving 10K here and I've gone on to run 11 marathons. I went from not a runner to a runner... And the Thanksgiving Day 10K here is probably my favorite event of the year. The vibe and the atmosphere and the positive feeling just doesn't get matched!

Jason - 44

The Thanksgiving Day Race has been my claim to fame for many years. My first was in 1954 along with 22 others. This will be my 55th. I hope I can make it 60.

Kent - 81

This is my first turkey trot. I am medically retired from the U.S. Army for my knee and have recently had surgery done and am feeling good so I want to try something new!

Matthew - 27

This will be my 3rd year attending the walk. I made a commitment to myself and my family to be healthy. The best way to start that on a day that we are going to pig out is to do a 10 K. The Thanksgiving Day 10 K was the first one I had ever done!!

Mandi - 35

My wife grew up in Cincinnati and when we became engaged in 1988 I came to visit her Aunt June for the first time. Save two years I have made this annual pilgrimage ever year. Over this period of time we have four children and they too cherish their trip to Aunt Junie's House for Thanksgiving. The kids gather with thier many cousins and family and have created loving bonds for a lifetime. This will be my fourth time in running in the Cincinnati Thanksgiving day 10k. I have not run it for 15 years. In late 2016 I decided to get myself into shape again. I began running again. I have lost 80 lbs since December 2016. I set a goal at the beginning of 2017 to run this race again. I am very excited to participate.


I enjoy the atmosphere, the energy, the excitement, and the exercise - challenging myself for a better time.

Marc - 55

What a better way to start off Thanksgiving with a run and so enjoy seeing all the families that to this together.

Patty - 54

My favorite race in Cincinnati. Love seeing all the families and runners getting exercise before the big dinner!

Mary - 50

My mom and I run this race every year in my father's memory. We used to run it every year as a family. My dad loved this race!

Annie - 29

My brother wants this to be a family tradition. He has successfully gotten more people to join in each year.

Shannon - 34

It is my Cinci tradition - to walk this awesome race every thanksgiving - living away from my immediate family, it gives me joy to see full families racing together and celebrating this unique American Holiday.

Veronica - 58

It's been a tradition the past 2 years to do this with my son and I am doing it again this year. Love the beginning and end of the race.

Mary - 57

I run the Thanksgiving Day 10k because it is a great experience. Everyone there is welcoming and so pumped about running/walking it together and everyone has a fun time while still getting great exercise, which I love!

Keith - 22

This will be my 5th Walk...I usually meet up with some friends from church...then they RUN, I walk. It's just a GREAT way to begin the day...

Judy - 60

I have been running for 36 years but my story is about my heart problems. Running has saved my life. My "widow maker" left anterior descending(LAD) artery was blocked 95% when I was 45. On July 4, 1988, I was running the Bluegrass 10K in Lexington, KY and felt symptons. I slowed down and finished the race. Saw my Dr. resulting in angioplasty in July and later had open heart surgery in January 1989. I did my rehab and continued running and blocked back up 16 years later at age 61 in August 2004 with symptons while running the 15 miler in Charleston WV. This time resulted in me seeing my Dr. and getting 2 stents in 2 other arteries. Last year in July 2016, I had 2 more stents and ran the 2016 Thanksgiving Day Race in 85 minutes at age 73 and placed 23rd in my age Division. I hope to do better this year. If I had not been a runner, I probably would not have experienced my heart symptons without further problems and/or heart muscle damage or worse. My current cardiologist, is Dr. Mark Jordan of St. E. in NKY and did all my stents since 2004. Running has saved my life as I have inherited my father's atherosclerosis. He died at age 63 and his 2 brothers also died early all with the same condition at age 59. I thank God for my running.

Terry - 74

This will be my second time running. I don't like to run :) but this race is always fun and it feels good to accomplish something like this.

Angele - 36

I belong to an east side running club and have run this race before but not every year. You never know what kind of weather you will get with this race. Participating in this race gets me in the mood and spirit of the holidays. It makes me feel less guilty when overeating on Thanksgiving. I consider this my fun race. I don't worry about time. I just run and take in the atmosphere and running downtown and across the river.

Thomas - 54

Try to run the race every year with my Brothers as a family tradition.

Karen - 62

My dad and I have been running in the race together for almost 20 years.

Katie - 37

It's such a fun time and my friend and I have done it now for 3 years running. Love the atmosphere, the people, and it's such a good time. I feel so refreshed afterwards!

Elizabeth - 34

I grew up in Cincinnati, but I haven't lived there since 1978. I have family there, and I'll be there for Thanksgiving. So, I'm eager to see Paul Brown Stadium up close, as well as Over-the-Rhine and other changes. Also, I was once a competitor runner and triathlete, but due to injuries, I haven't been running, training or competing for three years. I ran two miles today. The Cincinnati, Thanksgiving Day 10K is my goal and motivation. I want to run it, and be in shape to enjoy the scene and people!

David - 52

My school, Roger Bacon High School, helps work it and it got me interested.

Betsy - 30

I ran my first Thanksgiving day race in 1999 with my dad when I was 13. It became a family tradition and I look forward to racing each year.

Greg - 31

My mom and I do this race every year - it's fun to keep up this tradition!

Katherine - 38

This will be my third year participating in the Thanksgiving Day 10k. I really like this race and the course. Plus, it makes the Thanksgiving Turkey taste that much better!

Nick - 20

My father has run this race for many years, but up until two years ago, he ran by himself. Now, he and as many of his 6 kids (and their significant others) who can all run together. With everyone growing up and moving out, the Thanksgiving 10K has quickly become a tradition in the Walden family. The 10k marks the beginning of the holidays for us, and is something that we all look forward to and train for each year.

Joseph - 37

As the youngest brother in a running family, you'd think age would be on my side at this point. Alas, I have finished 3rd in the annual "Brothers Championship" every year where all 3 of us have been healthy enough to compete. This could be my year! Mike is coming off knee surgery; Dave has a busy teaching schedule this fall as a professor at SLU, while I am coaching and running with athletes at Sycamore High School. The deck is stacked in my favor.

Kevin - 37

Caitlin and I ran it last year as a dating couple and run it this year as husband and wife.

Nick - 29

This would be my second year running. My favorite part is seeing everyone donate their coats & gloves for those in need.

Shayna - 28

I love the energy of the race! It is a great way to start the day that focuses on exercise and health and being grateful that I am able to run. I LOVE this race!!!

Kim - 48

It's family tradition. We love the spirit of the race. I've been doing it since 2009 and every year we try to make our group bigger and bigger by asking more family, friends and even co-workers. Every year the race gets better and better.

Sally - 28

I run this race because of my wife. She's been doing it since 2009. The joy it brings her every year is undeniable. She makes us costumes to dress up. She makes our day fun - full of laughter, love and thankfulness. She is my favorite part.

Jordan - 33

What an amazing unifying event for the city of Cincinnati!

Brad - 53

My daughter started running cross country and she has fallen in love with the sport. She has challenged her family to participate. I ran the race a couple of times in the 80's.

Gregg - 55

I will be running with my family. We are all in the city visiting my grandmother for Thanksgiving!

Rosemary - 27

It's a family tradition for the past 6 years! Even the family that comes in from out of town join in and the kids make hats for us to wear. It's a great way to start off the holiday.

Lisa - 54

Ran my first Turkey Day Race in 1987 (from Latonia Shopping Center). I was 37 years old and just gave up smoking. My goals was not to be last and be forced to get on the "Pick Up Bus". The bus almost caught me! Been doing the race every year since. Now I have a daughter and son in law who has been running for a few years and I hope a grand child join me someday.

Timothy - 67

We have been running the Thanksgiving Day 10K for several years now with family, so it has become a part of our holiday tradition.

Todd - 49

The first year I ran the Thanksgiving Day 10K was the longest race I had ever run and I did it by myself. The next year my husband ran it with me and the year after that, three of my cousins joined us. I grew up in Northern Kentucky and now live in Alabama, so having the opportunity to come home and run the bridges from one state to the other is the highlight of my holiday weekend. I absolutely love this new tradition for our family!

Ann Marie - 48

We started walking two years ago on a whim. We like the exercise before a big meal (reduces guilt) and we also like the excellent views of the city! But, mostly, we started walking together two years ago because it was my son's first year away at college and so when he came back for Thanksgiving break, a 10K walk was a great way for us to talk and "catch up".

Donna - 55

I have run the race the last 2 years with my daughter. It has now become a tradition for us to do this together! In fact, she arranged her schedule to make sure she could be home for Thanksgiving!

John - 55

I have been in the Thanksgiving race every year since I have been born! I am 8 years old now.

Talia - 8

Love this Race.... so much fun with thousands of my closest friends! Great way to start the Thanksgiving day. Be Thankful you are here and alive!

Connie - 57

I love running the Thanksgiving Day 10k because I do it with family. I live in SC and we come home every Thanksgiving and this will be our 4th time participating. This was also on my husbands bucket list, which apparently became my bucket list. :)

Beverly - 50

This was my very first road race back in 2004! I was talked into it by some friends and my brother (who smoked me), and it's still one of my favorite runs to date. I had a HORRIBLE finishing time that first year, but have improved SO much. It's been the gateway to almost a dozen half marathons and two marathons - with more to come

Liz - 34

I grew up in Cincinnati and ran my first Thanksgiving Day 10k over 15 years ago. Now I live in Philadelphia, but any time I can come back for Thanksgiving, I always run the 10k in town. Love it.

Patrick - 30

I have always loved running the Thanksgiving day 10K!.. Only recently has my husband agreed to run with me. This will be his 2nd Thanksgiving day 10K, and I'm so thankful to no longer go it alone.

Lauren - 37

My husband and I got engaged at the finish line last year! We are running together this year as husband and wife!

Ashley - 33

I run this race to keep fit and active and to show how thankful I am for the health that I have. I run to show my daughters and granddaughter that anyone can acheive great fitness.

Amanda - 39

This is my first Thanksgiving Day 10K where I will be joining my fiance and his family in their yearly tradition. I am from Phoenix, AZ and his entire family is from Cincinnati, so I am happy to get my running shoes on and take one step of many in joining in on their family traditions for life!

Kelsey - 29

My favorite part is running with my sister. We have very busy lives and families of our own and it is hard to get together and just have "us" time!

Lauren - 31

I run this race every year to spend time with friends before dinner with family. This year I will be running to remember a friend that passed suddenly last November.

Stephanie - 33

The event is first class, great crowd, good course, thanksgiving day tradition for me.

Brad - 39

Its been a tradition for me for about 20 years, I go with friends and we run the race and its just a nice way to start the Thanksgiving Day festivities.

Sonya - 53

This will be our first Thanksgiving day 10K and we are doing this because we want to be more involved in the city's major events!!

Kari - 33

My dad used to run this race when I was a kid. I've always wanted to run it myself, but I've never been a long distance runner and avoided it whenever possible for sports. It wasn't until a few months ago that I finally decided to pick-up long distance running and run my first 5K. Now that I've done a few, I'm ready to do my first 10K and I can't wait to run the Thanksgiving Day 10K for the first time. I'm proud to not only do this because it's been a goal of mine, but to do it for myself to push myself.

Alana - 25

Because my kids are making me.

David - 62

My friend Kenny is on his weight loss journey and has made it a goal to run this 10k, so I've decided to do this with him in support.

Andrew - 22

Earlier this year I reconnected with one of my best friends from over 18 years ago all because of running. We have been racing every since.

Amie - 40

I live in Falls Church Va. , but grew up in Cincinnati. When I come home for Thanksgiving, it is a family tradition to run this race. Love the city!

Hillary - 28

Grandfather suffered from Alzheimer disease and run in his memory.

Virginia - 16

This year will be my 20th straight year of participating in the 10K. 1998 was the first year and it is a tradition for me, no matter what kind of shape I am in. I ran it my Freshman year of high school and continued through college and now as a coach.

Darrell - 33

I run the Thanksgiving race because I enjoy feeling united with my city on a holiday. My favorite part is seeing everyone pushing themselves.

Jessica - 28

Walking with my sisters. So glad to come home and spend time with the family as well as support a great cause.

Barbara - 46

This is our 14th year running as a family. Our cousins from Michigan come every year and this our tradition to run the race together.

Micah - 29

I love this race and how we run into KY. It is a good balance of Cincy and KY. I love that I can go eat all the turkey I want afterwards too.

Megan - 34

I love running the race with my family. We all give thanks for our health and well being and to do that with your family is one of the great things in life.

Vickie - 61

I run cause it keeps me young. It keeps me in shape for my job as a Army Officer. I run the race because it allows me to run with my brother Jeff each year during Thanksgiving. This year we will be running with the whole family. My better half Laura, Jeff, his wife Susan their four kids: Abby, Bree, Connor, and Ellie, and My mom and Dad. I should add my best friend from high school Chris is coming with his family to run with us. So it should be a blast. We will be driving from San Antonio, Texas for this fun event. My favorite part of the race is the route over the bridge. It reminds me of picking up my mom from work each day with my dad. Except this comes with much pain. hahahaha.

Thomas - 46

This will be my 15th consecutive year. great way to start thanksgiving! Enjoy running it with my kids while my husband starts preparing Thanksgiving dinner!

Holly - 54

This will be my first time running in the Thanksgiving Day Race. It's also on the same day as my birthday this year. I will be turning 10 on race day and running a 10K. :) I will be running the race this year with my older brother, my mom and my dad.

Connor - 10