By: Patrick Elder, Patrick Henry High School
For many across the Roanoke Valley, Thanksgiving means more than just turkey and football. Thanksgiving is the day when over 10,000 running enthusiasts hit the streets of downtown Roanoke to take part in a special race, the annual StellarOne Drumstick Dash 5K. The race is a well-loved tradition in Roanoke. It attracts people of all kinds to run the streets to support a great cause, the Roanoke Rescue Mission. However, the race offers something distinctive to runners.
The Drumstick Dash course is flat, shaded from the sun and surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Roanoke’s historic downtown. These unique qualities are a rarity in the world of a runner, for 5k courses are often in open fields or deep woods.
“Running in the city is an awesome experience,” said Patrick Henry High School sophomore John Baldridge. This year’s race will traverse through the energetic and fan-filled streets of Roanoke.
Bands and performers cheer and create a pleasing experience for runners and race supporters alike. A trained runner can easily make exceptional times on this course with the right strategies. However, it’s also a nice course for beginners.
Jack Hitchins, also a Patrick Henry High School sophomore, gave some tips for a successful Drumstick Dash.
“The key to success on this course is pacing,” he said, “Know that the weather will usually be in your favor and the course lacks extreme hills or other obstacles. Do not hesitate to push yourself farther than you’re used to.”
The amount of participants expected to attend the upcoming race is in the thousands, so prepare to run in and out of large crowds. However, the crowds can also make for an enjoyable, social race.
For more information about the Drumstick Dash, visit https://drumstickdash.net/.