Niles-Buchanan YMCA to host 37th annual Thanksgiving Day Run

Published 10:40 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

NILES — The Niles-Buchanan YMCA will to host the 37th annual Thanksgiving Day Run on Thursday, Nov. 22.

Since its inception in 1981, this race has become a tradition in the Michiana community and sought to bring people together in the spirit of community and giving.

The 10K kicks off at 7:45 a.m., the 5K will start at 9:15 a.m., and the 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 9:20 a.m. All races start on second Street behind the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.

The idea originally came from Ted Majerek, a Niles businessman who saw the need for an event that would get the community active. Originally just a 10K and a 1-Mile Run, the event has grown to include a 5K race as well. Families have made it a tradition to come out and run the race together or volunteer.

Three runners have run every single race since 1981: Bob Smola, Charlie Frey, and Jerry Hoffman. Additionally, Theresa Pipher has ran all but one race. Pipher had a T-shirt quilt made with almost all the race shirts from past years, which is on display in the Niles-Buchanan YMCA lobby.

This year’s logo pays homage to the city of Niles, where thousands of runners have passed through while participating in this race. Lazer Graphics, Inc. in Benton Harbor, created the logo.

On average, 2,200 runners participate, and last year 31 states were represented. People can register at the Y or online at

The price is $30 until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 20. Group discounts are available. After Nov. 20, prices increase to $35. Day-of registration is available. Proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which supports the Summer My Way program, After School Program, youth sports, and Community Outreach Water Safety, just to name a few.

To learn more about the Niles-Buchanan YMCA programs and events, visit the website at or contact Member Service at (269) 683-1552.