VA Run Turkey Trot Race Report

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So I started off Thanksgiving morning the completely traditional way….with a race of course. As previously mentioned this is the 5th time I’ve done this race. Due to busy schedules and the previous ease of packet pickup we decided to wait until the morning of the race to pick up my packet. I woke up super early….way earlier than my alarm. I was excited and couldn’t sleep….or I had eaten pasta the night before and my stomach was angry…you decide.

We ended up getting ready rather fast and actually left the house ahead of schedule. We got there early and because the roads/grass were wet I asked to be dropped off close to the pickup so that I didn’t have to walk through wet grass. I wanted to keep my shoes dry since I hadn’t bothered to bring an extra pair. My buddy dropped me off as close as he could and I used sidewalks to avoid the wet grass. I walked into packet pickup and I was the only person in there. This race uses a computer system and assigns numbers as you show up. Instead of searching for my name on a list I walked up and they searched my name in the computer and then assigned me the number that corresponded to the bib on top of their pile. It’s a very efficient process.

After getting my packet I went back to find where my buddy had parked….once again walking the long way to avoid the wet grass. Because we were super early we hung out in the car for a bit. After a while of staying warm we headed out towards the race site. The temperature was much higher than last year. It was like 30 something! Last year was really cold so this year didn’t feel bad. I took my fleece jacket with me and planned to use it to stay warm until the start of the race. I wore a hat and gloves but knew I was going to get warm.

We headed over the restrooms and then to the start line. The start line was pretty packed by the time we got there. The runners are separated from walkers with a fence. My buddy needed to be outside of the fence….not walking….just spectating. I tried to walk along the edge of the fence so that we could talk and I could dump my jacket at the last minute. There are not separate corrals and I find that slower people don’t care and line up at the front so I made my way towards the front in an attempt to avoid an ugly start. I am not fast but I hate when walkers start at the front and walk 4 people wide. I don’t mind walking or slow running (which is what I do) but some respect would be nice. Walk/run single file on the side if you are slower so people can pass.

About 5 minutes before the start I dumped my jacket and my buddy walked down the road to his spectating spot. The course is a loop basically but the start and finish are overlapping on the same road. There is no good way to cut the course for him to see me in multiple spots.

As expected the start was insanely ugly. I did a lot of dodging people. I made it worse by trying to stay on the side of the road so my buddy could see me. After I passed him I just dodged to keep moving forward. The entire first mile had a pretty thick pack of people. After that mile there is a turn and things thinned out but only slightly. It’s fun to be a in a big group after the first mile when things settle out and people find their paces.

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Look at me! I’m coming!!

 

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Here I am …happy because it’s just starting!

There is only one hill in about the middle of the race that is significant. It’s a long steady climb but really isn’t bad. The water station is also on the hill. The course runs through a neighborhood and sometimes people are out in their yards cheering for runners.

As we made our way through the neighborhood I knew my PR was long gone and was hoping to just finish in a decent time without killing myself. I finally saw the main road again and knew the end was getting close.

I turned the corner for the final stretch which actually seemed to go on forever. I finally saw my buddy and the finish line. I ran up the hill and made it across the line.

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Coming back towards the finish…hat turned up and gloves off!

 

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And there I go.

I made my way through the finishing chute and looked around for my buddy before grabbing some food and water and heading home to get ready for turkey time.

It definitely wasn’t my fastest race and I don’t think it was my slowest either. I didn’t get hurt and I felt pretty good so overall I’m happy with it.