Annual Thanksgiving Day Run returning to in-person format

Published 10:45 am Monday, November 8, 2021

NILES — For its 40th anniversary, the YMCA of Greater Michiana’s annual Thanksgiving Day Run will return to an in-person format.

The race, which draws thousands of runners and walkers to Niles, will also have a virtual component if participants want to choose that option.

The 39th edition of the 10K and 5K road races that runs through the streets of Niles on Thanksgiving Day morning and helps raise money for the YMCA had to switch to a virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19. Race officials originally planned to host the race as usual, but just days before it was supposed to take place, the format was switched due to the state of Michigan changing COVID-9 guidelines.

A year later, with the pandemic seemingly under better control, the move was made to return to the original format with the race starting behind the YMCA at 7:45 a.m. (10K) on Nov. 25. the 5K run and 5K walk will begin at 9:15 a.m. The one-mile Fun Run will also begin at 9:15 a.m.

According to race officials, the virtual runs and walk can be completed anywhere and at any time between Nov. 25 and Dec. 5. Participants may run in their local neighborhoods, in a park, or even on a treadmill. Once finished, Runners and walkers must upload their information to an online racing platform. They are also encouraged to share their race photos on social media with the hashtag #2021TDR.

“We’re so excited to welcome participants back to the Y after taking a year off from our in-person event in 2020,” said Jill Haboush, chief development office and race director of YMCA of Greater Michiana. “We encourage families to safely come together at the Y, or virtually, and be healthy while having fun and supporting a good cause.”

Registration is under way and open until Nov. 23. Cost is $35 per person or $30 per person for households with more than two participants. Late registration, Nov. 24, or race day, is $40. To register, go to All runners and walkers, including those doing the event virtually, will receive a race bib and t-shirts.

All proceeds support the YMCA’s annual campaign, which provides youth programs and financial support for families through membership scholarships.