If you plan to run or cheer on runners at this year’s Feaster Five in Andover on Thanksgiving, you won’t have any trouble picking the official race starter out of the crowd.
Raise organizers announced Thursday named, Zdeno Chára, the 6’9″ Boston Bruins defenseman who retired last year after a 15-year NHL career, will hold the honoroy post for the 5K and 5-mile race on Nov. 23.
World Marathon Challenge Champion Becca Pizzi will join Chára at the starting line in Shawsheen Village as a Feaster Five VIP. The race has attracted its fair share of big names to Andover since its 1988 launch. They join Johnny Kelley, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Matt Damon, among others, who have run or started the Feaster Five.
The Feaster Five is partnering with Sidney’s Rainbows, the nonprofit former after five-year-old Sidney Olson was hit and killed by a truck while crossing the street in Elm Square in May. MaryBeth Ellis Olson, Sidney’s mother, is a triathlete and a coach for the Merrimack Valley Striders, which puts on the Thanksgiving Day 5k and 5-mile road races. The Feaster Five is one of the largest Thanksgiving Day turkey trots in the nation.