We stumbled across this from the MDJ today, what a great story! Did you run in the Gobble Jog today? How was it?
At the Goodman family’s home on Kennesaw Avenue, the Gobble Jog is one Thanksgiving tradition that even the most creative excuse won’t get you out of participation.
“We tell folks, ‘If you’re gonna eat, you’re gonna run,’” Will Goodman said.
The fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gobble Jog for MUST Ministries starts and ends at Marietta Square. The first race starts at 8:30 p.m.
Goodman, 46, has participated in the charity combination 1K, 5K and 10K road race since the first event in 2002 as a way to stay in shape, but it has slowly become a family affair.
“(Thanksgiving) is just one of our favorite holidays,” he said. “It’s all family. There’s no presents and you just spend all day with them.”
The youngest of eight children, Goodman lives in the same house where he and his six sisters and brother grew up. From the scientific name for turkey, the family fielded 30 walkers, runners and joggers this year to form team “Meleagris Flash.”
Goodman said the Gobble Jog gives the whole family, even 6-year-old Emily Conner, a good way to start Thanksgiving morning.
“It ties the generations together. That’s the best part of this,” Goodman said.
Jobs and their own families have scattered the Goodman siblings all over the southeast, but Marietta is their hometown. Goodman’s own three children, Katie, 19, Claire, 15, and Will, 14, are the seventh generation of Goodmans to live in the city.
“This Thanksgiving is a unique one for us because often we’re split up. But this Thanksgiving all the siblings and grandchildren are going to be there,” Dorothy Flynn, Goodman’s oldest sister, said.
Ms. Flynn, of Destin, Fla., hadn’t planned on arriving until this morning, but then Goodman told her everyone was signed up for the charity road race.
“I told my brother I’m not a jogger, but my brother told me a lot of people will be walking. And I said, ‘That, I can do,’” she said.
Last year, the race drew 2,300 participants and raised $74,000 for MUST Ministries. This year John Moeller, executive director of the faith-based nonprofit organization, said they expect at least 3,000 participants on the Square to help fill 1,000 plates at the organization’s Marietta location this afternoon. The Marietta office is on Elizabeth Church Road, two miles north of the Big Chicken on Cobb Parkway beside the Ga. 5 overpass.
“It has exceeded I believe everyone’s expectations,” Moeller said. “It has become just an incredible tradition in the community in just a few years.”
Alexis Edwards, owner of the Whitlock Inn, started the Gobble Jog with two goals in mind: to get in shape and to help benefit her favorite charity, MUST Ministries.
“A lot of these fundraisers in Marietta are so fancy and they don’t involve family stuff and this involves the family,” Edwards said.
It’s a family tradition Goodman’s niece, Laura Anderson, 24, of Lilburn has looked forward to since her son, Ethan, was born seven months ago.
“(Ethan) helped me get into shape too because I’d take him in the jogging stroller and he was such a good sport,” Ms. Anderson said.
She got hooked on running in 2003 when she participated in a triathlon. She and older sister Carrie, 26, run together and even listen to the same jogging mix on their iPods.
“We’re not professionals. We don’t make great time,” Ms. Anderson said. “We just run next to each other and talk and have a great time.”
This year, even teenage sister Margaret, 17, joined them in the Gobble Jog.
“It’s so nice to be around your family,” Ms. Anderson said. “You have your friends and everything, but your family is always there.”