Photo and story by Michael Aldrich / Contributing Writer
While most people typically spend Thanksgiving immersed in the traditions of feasting, family and football, hundreds of Murfreesboro residents flocked to Greenland Drive Thursday to embark on some new traditions before the other festivities began: stretching, sprinting and sweating.
The cardio appetizer was all part of the eighth annual BoroDash, a 4-mile race that winds turkey trotters through some of the most scenic areas of town — all in the spirit of giving back to the community.
“BoroDash is a run through the heart of Murfreesboro where we raise money for some great international and local family and children’s charities,” said Nelson Eddy, a member on the BoroDash board of directors. “We do it every year, and it’s just a great way to start out your Thanksgiving holiday.”
Registration fees and donations go directly to local beneficiaries, including Endurance Athletics, Possibility Place and Greenhouse Ministries. The dash also supports Neema House, a nonprofit organization serving abandoned, orphaned and at-risk children in Tanzania, Africa.
BoroDash is an annual tradition for MTSU student Michael Harvey and his mother, Jeanne Wise. Even when she moved from Murfreesboro to Virginia, she made it a point to return for the event.
“I come home for Thanksgiving every year because our family’s here,” Wise said. “This is our little mother and son thing. He runs, and I walk. So, we just kind of hook back up at the finish line.”
“Not only can we exercise before we eat, but also the charity stuff is really nice,” Harvey said.
For BoroDash regular Christie Hill and her group of friends, the race is also personal.
“It’s been a tradition of ours,” Hill said. “We actually just lost a member. Our friend, Tommy Stiles, passed away in a plane crash, and he used to do it every year with us. So, we’re here to commemorate him. This whole group of us in the blue shirts are running in memory of Tommy.”
This year, 2,276 participants got their pre-turkey cardio in while their loved ones, with coffee and cocoa in hand, waited to cheer them across the finish line.
“I think the people of Murfreesboro have the heart of a servant,” said Jeff McClain, a BoroDash board of directors member. “We got a great community that’s growing. We have good people that run the race, and we’re privileged to be volunteers for it. It’s on a day when people are thinking about being thankful for the things they’ve got. So, it’s a great way for families to gather together and give back to the community.”
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