Gobble Jog aims to outdo 2011 funds
by Geoff Folsom
October 21, 2012 01:05 AM | 2403 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Connor Grant of Marietta crosses the finish line of the Gobble Jog 10K race in his turkey costume as he participated in the Thanksgiving Day event in downtown Marietta in 2010. <br> File photo
Connor Grant of Marietta crosses the finish line of the Gobble Jog 10K race in his turkey costume as he participated in the Thanksgiving Day event in downtown Marietta in 2010.
File photo
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MARIETTA — Rita Moore says the Gobble Jog is a great way to give herself an excuse to eat more at Thanksgiving dinner. But more importantly, it benefits MUST Ministries.

“It’s such a good organization and a good way to feel like you are helping people,” said Moore, a volunteer with the Gobble Jog.

The 10th annual event, sponsored by the Marietta Daily Journal, is scheduled for Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 22. It will feature a 10 kilometer run as well as 5K and 1K run/walks and a Tot Trot for the kids, with each race starting and ending at the Marietta Square.

MUST is looking to top $375,000 and 10,000 runners participating, MUST marketing director Kaye Cagle said. In 2011, the Gobble Jog had 9,453 runners and raised $325,000.

The event raises money for MUST, which serves more than 34,000 people a year. Cagle said the Gobble Jog helps the agency provide food, clothing, housing, employment and access to health care for those in poverty.

Moore helps organize teams of 10 or more people for Gobble Jog. In a few years, the number of teams has grown from 25 to 94 last year. She said the team concept is good for families, business, community organizations, churches and schools to take part.

In addition, participants who are part of a team get a $2 discount from their entry fee.

Moore helped her team, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Marietta, get to over 100 members last year, one of two teams to do so.

“I really push my church to get involved,” she said. “I really root for my team to get close to the top.”

Moore said team members don’t even have to actually go to the race. Those who may be out of town on Thanksgiving can still pay their entry fees and MUST will mail them the T-shirt that all participants receive.

Gobble Jog will have a few new features this year. After Paulding County resident Allen Scott Gill, 53, collapsed as he crossed the finish line last year and was pronounced dead later in the day at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, Gobble Jog is introducing a five-member Emergency Operations Team. Dr. John Knox, who is in emergency medicine with WellStar, will chair the group. Also on the emergency team will be Metro Ambulance Director of Operations Denise Westover; Lanita Lloyd, director of faculty at American Public University System’s school of public service and health; Marietta Fire Lt. Cynthia Nalley and race director Skip Breezer.

Cagle said the team will not only deal with possible health problems, it will make decisions on possible weather issues and other emergencies. The group intends to plan for any potential crisis.

“We’re not qualified to call a race one way or another, so we decided we’d gotten to the point where that would be a good idea,” she said.

Another new feature this year will come with the team awards, which will be designed by local artist Mariella Owens. Cagle said first-place teams will receive a custom-made platter, while others get a small tray.

For more information on Gobble Jog, visit www.gobblejog.org.
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