This distinguished gathering celebrated the unveiling of Cincinnati artist/designer Wendy Bentley’s commemorative poster for the 100th Thanksgiving Day Race Wednesday night at Joseph Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavillion. They are, from left: Running Spot owner Bob Roncker; TV newscaster Cammy Dierking; Olympian and race director Julie Isphording; soon-to-be-49-time Thanksgiving Day Race competitor Kent Friel; and Bentley.
In keeping with the historical theme, Bentley’s design marks her own tradition as the artist behind every Thanksgiving Day Race since 1998. “But the poster only reads 1999-2009,” she said, “because that just sounds better.”
Bentley says she has stuck to three or four themes over the years: Turkeys, shoes, runners and weather/leaves. But one constant: Bright colors, fitting for a festive holiday atmosphere.
“I like being a part of a tradition in Cincinnati that has existed for 100 years,” she said. “As a designer for 20 years, visual art is an expression and a way of communicating. I am proud to leave bold, colorful marks in a period of time that hopefully will be appreciated 100 years from now.”
Bentley said she’s proud to be a part of the tradition as a participant as well. She walks with her husband and young children each year — which can be a challenge as any parent who has tried to push an active youngster in a stroller can attest.
“We have yet to make it all the way to the finish line,” she said. “It’s just so fun to be a part of it, fun to see everyone in the T-shirts. … and a great way to start Thanksgiving.”