I enjoyed my first turkey trot this year... and if You haven't done one of these yet, you've gotta give them a try. There are tofurky is your thing, chances are you'll even find a tofurkey trot near you too.
I participated in the Uberthons Turkeython which was held at the local mall. I'm pretty sure there were no shoppers that morning, and the ample parking was all racers and their friends and family to cheer them on.
The race charity benefits a program also put on by Uberthons called the UberKids Enrichment program, which you can read more about by clicking here. They were raising funds for scholarships for kids who would otherwise not be able to participate in that program. Another aspect to the charity was kids participating in the kids' dash were encouraged to bring a new toy and/or tree ornament and kiddos could dash with the toy/ornament to place under the tree for the Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
The morning was a freezing 30 degrees Fahrenheit as runners did a 2.5K loop to warm up or stand about jumping in place to try to stay warm. I wore my crazy turkey costume... and though you might think that would help provide some warmth... I started the race with a numb butt. So., there ya go. No extra insulation there with 11lbs of pillow fluff inside my fabric turkey.
The course was a 2.5K lap around the parking perimeter of the local mall. That was as close to a shopping center I wanted to be on Thanskgiving morning... but not everyone may feel the way i do about that.
There are events for everyone with a 2.5K run or walk, 5k run or walk and 10K run, along with a relay with 2-4 team members (for a 10K total distance). Each lap was 2.5K, so for a 5K, run around twice and for the 10K I lapped the mall 4 times.
The course is billed as relatively flat. Let me tell you about that. My first 2.5K around, I noted one hill. Okay, not so bad. There is one uphill portion that is a little bit difficult, but I'm chugging right along... trying not to burn out with this huge turkey costume on. On the way back to the start/finish to start my second loop, I thought there was a nice down hill portion. Not too bad.
The second time around the 2.5K loop, I distinctly remember counting 4 hills. 4! That's not very flat for a 2.5K.... then the third time on the loop, I decided that the whole thing was nothing but uphill. But to clarify my bias, my suspenders on my turkey had come loose and I had to carry the damn thing. I stopped and asked two seperate volunteers managing traffic on the road if they'd help me reclip it... but it just wasn't working out.
As I neared the finish line for the final loop, I ditched the turkey at the JC Penny store entrance and ran as fast as I could. Literally.
I am proud that my 15 minute a mile pace last April has improved to about a 11:30 minute mile... but when my friend who had long finished her 10K saw me about to start my final loop, she asked if she could join me. I was grateful for the company as my legs were wobbly like a thanksgiving jello mold and I wasn't sure if i was going to make it... Much less stay upright. I had taken a spill two days before the race and had road rash on my knee, elbow and both palms. I didn't want to biff it again.
Well, she wasn't going to let me take a leisurely stroll. She kept just a step ahead of me, hollering back at me how many more minutes I was from the finish at this pace. Okay. That was helpful. I can't keep this up for a lifetime, but i can keep doing this for one more minute and 28 more seconds. We passed her husband who volunteered to take race photographs. On that final loop, I didn't even look his way to smile... much less exert any extra energy to wave. I asked between puffs if I threw up if we could slow down. My friend said something about waiting to vomit after the finish line.
She's a beast!
Well, I ran a 10:52 minute mile for that final loop. I'll take it. :D
As I crossed the finish line, she grabbed my turkey costume for me, so I got to carry him across the finish. Poor thing missed out on 2.5K of the race, but he finished too.
If you are looking to do this event in the future, packet pick up was three days and open for 7 hours. So it was relatively easy to beat the lines on race day to get your bib.
Uberthons also had a second bib that racers could write what they were thankful for and pin to their backs. I enjoyed seeing the ones that I could as people passed me.
Race photos (as of this writing) are still being edited but will be offered for a reasonable price of $5. It's 4 days post race, but it's also important to remember that the photographer is a volunteer with a full time job too. (After volunteering at three different races, I have a totally new perspective how much a race is held together by volunteers.)
The crowd is HUGE and very friendly. There were more than 1,200 participants. I did get pushed once by a "very serious" athlete who was probably pissed that this wide turkey butt was blocking his path to a PR... but I didn't stumble to the asphalt and scrape my knees, so no harm done. My crazy swinging pilgrim's legs kicked a little girl as I passed and I apologized profusely to her... but I don't think she even noticed.
The bling is not to be messed around with! 1/4" thick and very heavy, the medal is beautiful. I also won a grey fleece blanket for my turkey getup. :)
It was a great morning. (And day 18 of my Holiday running streak!)
What did you do for Thanksgiving?