Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Return of the Turkey Trot 8K 2010

So this morning I ran in the Return of the Turkey Trot. This race is the closest thing we have to a Thanksgiving run in the immediate area but I wish they actually had it on Thanksgiving or at least that weekend before. I had been meaning to run this race every year but something always came up mostly work related so I haven't actually run in this race since 2005. I had planned to use it as part of a training run for my upcoming ultramarathon by running 10 miles from my house to the start running the race then getting picked up . The logistics for that went to hell ( no one could pick me up)so I started off the morning by getting up and just driving to the race site. I picked up my race packet then decided to go on a short run before the race started to make up for at least some of those missed miles and to warmup. So I probably ran about a mile before I ended up back at the start line 5 minutes before race time.

I read this race had over 1000 entries but it really has a small race feel to it ( more on this later), The local Mayor gave the starting speech and after the Star Spangled Banner and the Invocation he told us to ready set go. The street we started on was really narrow so it felt like I was in the starting pen of some of the larger marathons I have participated in. Unless you were in the front, which I never am, you were running shoulder to shoulder for the first mile to mile and a half. To make it worse they started everyone at once with no segregation so you had little kids doing the fun run, walkers, 4K runners and 8K runners all mixed up together. This caused me a lot of problems with my pace at the beginning. The first 2 miles of the course were hilly and I passed a lot of people on the up hills. Shortly after the 2 mile point was the first water stop and I grabbed a cup and took a few swigs. Glad I did because there wouldn't be a water stop until almost the end.

Once the 8K split off from the other races it got better and there was some room to run. I felt pretty strong so I picked my pace up a little and was steadily passing people the entire race, that's why I like starting in the back gives me a psychological boost. As we headed south towards the turn around a good stiff breeze was hitting us in the face which made the 40 degree temperature feel even colder. At the 2.5 mark we turned around and headed back north winding our way through a residential neighborhood. The wind was at our backs now and I picked it up a little more as I could smell the finish line. We made the final turn heading west and I could see the finish line about  3/4 of a mile in the distance. At this point we were catching up with some of the walkers and had to zig zag to avoid them as they didn't really listen to the instructions pre-race that had told them to stay left. I crossed the finish line with plenty of gas in the tank and headed in to get some coffee at the post-race pancake breakfast. All in all a good race although I didn't get the mileage in I wanted today. I do have some suggestions though. This race has got to the point were it is bigger than a little local 5K and needs some professional management and amenities. Adding a few of the things below would make it more enjoyable:

Chip timing
More water stations (there were only 2)
More Porto Potties ( Only 4)
Segregate the start times for the different races and have the routes be somewhat different.

Good day though and I ran a good race in 44:22

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