Each year, the Native Health Initiative (NHI) holds a Gratitude Run/Walk/Bike as a way to get people moving on Thanksgiving, and this year will continue that tradition on Nov. 25.

But don’t think running race. Think hot air balloons, mariachis, a kids zone and about 1,000 people moving together to start the holiday.

“This event is about celebrating our families and community. More of a party than a running race. We are excited that many UNM entities are supporting the event,” says Anthony Fleg, a UNM Family Medicine physician and NHI Partnership Director.

“We saw that there were no free options for a walk/run event on Thanksgiving and we decided to change that," he said. "When 405 people showed up the first year, we knew we were on to something.”

NHI was created in 2005 as a partnership between Indigenous communities and health profession students, with a goal to achieve health equity through loving service with Indigenous communities. NHI achieves this goal in many ways such as raising awareness and educating health care providers on inequities that face Indigenous communities. Many of NHI programs, including Running Medicine, involve members of the UNM community.

The Gratitude Run/Walk/Bike, taking place 9am at North Domingo Baca Park on Thanksgiving, will offer a few options this year.

  • 400-meter toddler dash
  • 1 and 2 mile fitness run/walk
  • 5-10k run/walk
  • Ride 3-10 miles

All events are free with options to make a donation to NHI. Long sleeve Gratitude Run/Walk/Bike shirts will be available for purchase.

To register for the Gratitude Run/Walk/Bike, users can visit the run sign up website. Those with questions or who want to serve as a sponsor for the event can email Dr. Fleg at afleg@salud.unm.edu.