Gobble Jog has grown into something to crow about
November 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 3199 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thanksgiving Day is no longer just about eating turkey and watching football in Marietta. It’s also become synonymous with The Gobble Jog footrace that starts and ends on Marietta Square and which celebrated its 10th anniversary last Thursday.

The race was expected to set new records for both the number of participants (close to 11,000) and funds raised (in excess of $375,000). By way of comparison, there were 1,400 runners at the first Gobble Jog in 2003, which raised $29,000.

And it has grown from just a 5K race to this year, a 10K race as well. Put in perspective, the 10,000 or so who ran this year give it status as one of the largest races held in Georgia and represent a throng roughly one-sixth the size of the 60,000-strong field that turns out each year for the massive Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4.

But more importantly, the race was a huge funding shot in the arm for MUST Ministries, which provides food, clothing, shelter and jobs for 34,000 people a year each year in Cobb and Cherokee counties, about half of whom are children.

“We’re very, very thankful for all the people who made this part of their Thanksgiving,” said MUST CEO Dr. Ike Reighard. “It’s such a great Thanksgiving tradition for the Marietta area,” Reighard said. “People have seen the great job (MUST) does helping the less fortunate, and I think our hearts are more in tuned during the holiday season. We start planning months ahead, and when it finally gets here, quite honestly, it’s a relief,” he said. “We knew pretty early on that this was going to be a record deal.”

Unlike the sometimes dog-eat-dog Peachtree Road Race, the Gobble Job is a family affair — a massive “fun run,” if you will. Many participants ran in family groups, such as Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who rode in the pace car for the 10K and then ran with his family on the 5K. Dr. Reighard had four generations of his family at the event. And Marietta landscape architect Will Goodman told the MDJ he runs the Jog each year with his children and other family members.

“When I go for my second plate at Thanksgiving dinner, it doesn’t feel as bad,” he said. “I am a big fan of MUST. It’s amazing how (the race) has gotten so big.”

Amazing, gratifying — and something to be both thankful for and proud of.
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November 28, 2012
Congratulations on a job well done MUST.

Let us not forget the hundreds of other agencies in the Cobb area that provide much needed resources to those in need. It is oftentimes very difficult for these groups to carry out their missions because everyone says they "do" MUST. Please look at what MUST does do and then look at the numerous other food pantries who serve the working poor in our community. MUST is a great organization, but it serves a very specific client demographic, which unfortunately gets all of the attention. There are tens of thousands of working poor in Cobb County and surrounding areas who are not served under the umbrella of MUST. Let us not forget them at this time of year.
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