IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Run

IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Run

IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Run

( 1 review )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Louisville,
    United States
  • November
  • 5 miles/8K
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
9 9
"IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Run Review"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Lorri 's thoughts:

Thanksgiving Day races have certainly grown in popularity over the years but perhaps one of the longest held Turkey Day traditions here is Louisville is the Iroquois Hill Runners Thanksgiving Day 5 Miler. For the past 37 years runners have been showing up early on Thanksgiving morning to run 5 miles through Iroquois Park in everything from sunny and mild temperatures, rain, snow, to bitter cold. It's worth it though - with a challenging course, great giveaways, and being part of one of the longer standing traditions in town - it's always a blast!

Pricing: The pricing for this race is very reasonable for what you get and the experience. It's $25 to pre-register online or by mail or $35 race day.

Packet Pickup: The packet pickup for the race is held a Swag's Sports Shoes southend location and is a pretty simple shindig. held over two days runners can head to the stpre to pick up their bibs and shirts along with any last minute necessities. The folks at Swag's are nice and helpful (I'm still partial to my home store at Fleet Feet though.) It's a pretty small store so I generally find that I'm in and out within about 10 minutes. There is also day-of registration and packet pickup available at the race which I've never done but always seems to run very smoothly and efficiently.

T-Shirts: The shirt for this race is always one of my favorites because they always offer a long-sleeved technical shirt. I don't get too many of those here as the majority of our races are warm weather runs so it's a nice change and pretty handy to get us through the winter months. IHR also usually offers one or two colors of the shirts but they are generally unisex sizing.

They did have a small snafu with their order this year so only half of the shirts were ordered on time meaning that there were only one color available at the pre-race pickup in the pumpkin color which is what we got. If you picked up your packet on race day you had a choice of that color or a pretty royal blue. They were letting runners swap if they wanted but we opted to keep what we'd already gotten.

Parking/Access: There is parking available at the Iroquois Amphitheater and the lower park parking lots as well as across the street from the park at many of the businesses, closed for the holiday, and neighborhood streets. Finding parking has never been an issue for us.

Scenery & Course: Many races we do here take us through Iroquois Park and it's always gorgeous in all seasons. This year was no exception, though overcast, the leaves made up for the lack of sunshine with their bright reds, oranges, and yellows! Add to this the bagpipers that sing you up the first turn and portion of the hill and then the band that sends you off the steepest incline plus the cheerleaders, a couple of whom were dressed as pilgrims and a foil-wrapped turkey, it makes for a wonderful experience.

Another reason that this race is one of our yearly traditions is that it really is a challenge! You start out on a flat straightaway on the lower ring of the running loop, but pretty quickly in (about .3 miles) you turn up "the hill" and for the next 2 miles or so you're running uphill. At that point you traverse the Outlook loop, which is just under 1 mile, at the top of Iroquois hill then it's time to head back downhill to the finish line for a massive negative split! :)

Elevation: The start/finish of the race are at the lowest elevation at 520ft. At the peak height you climb approximately 230ft in elevation to 750ft. It's definitely a tough climb but I always feel like I've earned a second piece (or third) of pumpkin pie at the end!

Aid Stations: There is one aid station that you hit twice in the race. First at just about the 1.75 mile mark and then again on the back side of the top loop at about 3.25 miles in. The volunteers are wonderful and very encouraging.

Finish Line/ Post Race Experience: Once you've crossed the finish line and head into the post race area you're treated to self-serve tables with chocolate milk, water, fresh muffins, granola bars, trail mix, and various other goodies. As part of your race registration you're also automatically registered in several post-race drawings that start at about 10:30a after most everyone has had a chance to finish the race. With prizes ranging from free socks, running watches, two $50 cash prizes, two $100 cash prizes, and the grand prize of $500! You do have to be present to win though and lots of people hang around every year!

We always have a group of friends who treat it like a tail-gate with lots of hot coffee and goodies to keep warm after the run is over.

I love this race and have done it 4 of the last five years that we've been running regularly, we skipped out on it last year to try a new race and instantly regretted it! I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a longer more challenging race than most of the other Thanksgiving Day races in town.

Happy Running!

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