Some people think running a 10K or a 5K is a lot of effort, but one Woodstock man is taking the MUST Ministries Gobble Jog to a whole new level.
On Thanksgiving morning, Nathan Fowler, 37, will get up early and run 14 miles to Marietta Square from his home near Town Lake. He plans to arrive before the 10K so he can meet one of his brothers who is his marathon partner and then compete in the 6.2-mile competition.
Fowler then plans to move from the finish line to the starting line and run the timed 5K while he waits for his family to arrive for the untimed 5K. Then he plans to move from the finish line to the starting line and walk the untimed event with his wife and two young children.
“Our family has participated in the Gobble jog for at least five years,” Fowler said. “This year, I was putting together the family team and thought, ‘I wonder how far it is from here to the Marietta Square?’"
"I figured it out. It’s 14 miles," he said. "With the three Gobble Jog races, that adds ups to a little more than a marathon – 26.4 miles. I could get in a marathon and only have to take one car to the race."
Fowler, a photographer with Mileshko, is part of a company that has helped Marietta-based MUST Ministries produce videos and donated time to the organization. This year, his father, also a photographer, will be flying a camera drone and helping capture the excitement of one of America’s largest Thanksgiving Day races.
Fowler's running journey began about nine years ago.
“I was 25-years-old and looked in a mirror. I was 50 pounds overweight and thought I didn’t look fit," Fowler said. "I wondered where I’d be physically when I had kids and grandkids. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, so I bought a pair of running shoes and ran out the door."
“I couldn’t run a mile and I nearly puked," he said. "But in 6-12 weeks, I started enjoying it. I’ve run the Georgia Jewel, a 50K in Dalton and just finished the Sky to Summit in Sky Valley, a 30-mile trek with 14,000 feet of climbing.”
Fowler says he often wins his age group in 5K races but is excited about the endurance courses he’s competing in now.
His days of yo-yo dieting and exercise are over too, thanks to a F3 (Fitness – Faith-Fellowship) group in Cherokee county.
“F3 is a national network of men who meet in public places to work out, run, host boot camps, pray together and encourage each other to be better fathers and husbands,” he said. "We have 400 men in our chapter, and when I travel, I visit other groups."
The day before the Gobble Jog, Fowler will be working out with F3 in Chicago.
The Gobble Jog will be Nov. 28. Registration is still open at www.gobblejog.org. All proceeds go to help those living in poverty who need food, housing, jobs and clothing.