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25th Annual GE Run Thru the Woods Directed by the YMCA


25th Annual GE Run Thru the Woods Directed by the YMCA

                     Thanksgiving Charity Event is a Holiday Tradition

Celebrating 25 Years Running for a Cause!


Celebrating 25 years Running for a CAUSE! A holiday tradition in The Woodlands Town Center, the annual Thanksgiving Day Run Thru the Woods Sponsored by GE and Directed by the South Montgomery County YMCA, is a race/walk designed for all ages and levels of fitness. This year marks the event’s 25th year as one of Texas’ premier running and walking family events.  The 2014 event, which should attract more than 6000 participants, is both a family event and a serious running event, enticing for the competitive racer, weekend warrior, recreational runner, kids and walkers.


This holiday tradition began as a small fun run in the City of Oak Ridge North in 1989 to benefit ORHS Operation Graduation.

  • In 1994, the committee reached out to the YMCA and other community partners to expand participation throughout South Montgomery County.  The Woodlands Mall opened in Fall of 1994 – The race was titled Run to The Mall with the start and finish line located at The Mall. The first year with the YMCA involved, the race attracted over 200 participants and raised $4000 for the youth charities the event supported.
  • In 1995, the race committee made a decision to move the race to Thanksgiving Day morning and the race was titled The Gobbler 5 Miler The 1st Thanksgiving race, at The Woodlands Mall, attracted over 500 participants and raised $10,000.
  • In 1996, the event attracted a title sponsor,,BetzDearborn (who was later bought out by GE) and adopted the current name Run Thru the Woods. The event was relocated to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for its permanent home to date. More than 900 participants joined the fun and helped raise $23,000.
  • Over the years, Run Thru the Woods continued to grow in popularity and raising more dollars for the deserving youth organizations the event supports. In 2001, participation topped 2500 and raised $60,000!
  • BetzDearborn was purchased by GE and the event became known as the GE Run Thru the Woods in 2006. That year was another benchmark year with participation exceeding 4000+ and raising $100,000.
  • The Egg & I joined in on the fun in 2007 and began offering complimentary pancake breakfast to all participants on race day morning.
  • In 2009, the annual charity event had 5000+ entries and raised over $140,000.
  • Fast forward to 2014, where event planners are preparing for 6000 participants and hope to raise more than $190,000.


Over the years, this popular holiday event has never lost touch with its mission: To provide a fun community event for all ages and all levels, promoting youth development, healthy living, community service and social responsibility as well as raising awareness and funds for the deserving youth organizations the event supports. Event planners remain committed to the history of the race and the early beginnings in the City of Oak Ridge. The 5 Mile Course starts in The Woodlands Town Center and continues over Lake Woodlands into the neighborhoods of Oak Ridge winding back over The Lake Woodlands-I45 overpass to the CWM Pavilion.


A special thank you to The City of Oak Ridge North, GE (formerly BetzDearborn), Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands Township, The Woodlands CVB, South Montgomery County YMCA and all the generous community partners/sponsors, community organizations, volunteers,  event staff and their families, all the participants etc…for their support and dedication over the last 25 years. Due to your support, move than $1,500,000 has been raised supporting youth development. We look forward to celebrating the next 25 years . . . On your mark, get set, GO.


The 25th annual GE Run Thru the Woods is scheduled for November 27, 2014 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands Town Center. Categories and start times include a competitive 1 mile Children’s Race “Presented by Anadarko, for ages 12 and under starting at 7:45am; a certified 5 mile Run “Presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health The Woodlands Hospital” at 8:15am; a 3 Mile Race “Presented by Repsol” for all ages at 8:25am; and the 3 Mile Walk  “Presented by Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation” starting at 8:35am. The 5 mile event also features a Masters, Clydesdale and Athena division.


NEW this year: Easy online registration and registration will be capped in 2014. All participants are encouraged to register early to reserve their spot. For instant results and standings: Runners can choose to have their results emailed or texted to them immediately after they cross the finish line. Participants can go back in and manage their online registration and opt in for this service, if they forgot.


Awards include cash prizes to the overall top 3 finishers, Male and Female in the 5 mile run. Along with the cash, and unique trophy the overall top finisher, Male and Female will each win a special prize. Awards will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers, male and female, in each age group category including 5 mile, Clydesdale, Athena and Masters division and 3 mile race. In the 1 Mile Children’s race, 1st – 4th place awards will be distributed to the top 4 finishers in each age group.  A special 25th Anniversary Finisher Medal will be handed out at the finish line to all participants. A complimentary pancake breakfast, provided by The Egg and I, will be available for all participants this year.


Run for a Cause: Proceeds benefit various youth charities in Montgomery County including . . .

–          South Montgomery County YMCA Scholarship program: Many children, youth and adults in our area need YMCA programs and services but are unable to pay the fees. Financial assistance provided through our Open Doors and Partners Campaign programs makes it possible for these individuals and families to gain the positive benefits of participating in the Y. Together we can ensure everyone can be a part of the YMCA regardless of financial resources

–          Operation Prom/Graduation at all 3 high schools in the South Montgomery County area (TWHS, TWCP and ORHS) providing a safe and fun overnight celebration for the graduation senior class.

–          Conroe ISD AFJROTC Program:  The objectives of JROTC are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline, and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals

–          Education Outreach Program at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion: Educational outreach is an integral part of the mission of The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, home of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The Pavilion uses the appeal of live performances to introduce children and youth, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status, to the world of performing arts.

–          Can-n-Keys, Christian Food Bank,: CAN-N-KEYS desires to reflect the Kingdom of God by simply sharing food with the hungry in a graceful and responsible manner. Supply canned goods to church pantries and other charitable organizations by fundraisers, canned food drives and other programs in the local churches, communities and businesses.

In 2013, the event attracted over 5800 participants and raised over $160,000 for the benefiting charities and collected 1000+lbs of food

For Christian Food Bank, Can-n-Keys. All participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item with them on Thanksgiving Day Morning. Collection barrels will be located in convenient strategic places throughout the parking area on race day morning.


Register now to reserve your spot. Limited space available.  On line registration and additional information is available at For more information on Run Thru the Woods, please call 281-367-9622 or visit Like us on Facebook, GE-Run-Thru-The-Woods