23rd Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Family Stroll Race Report
The Blonde talked me into signing up for a turkey trot race a while back. We picked the one on Sprint’s campus as she had ran it several years ago when she was running by herself. It was moderately reasonable in price when we registered. However, we did not register early enough to get the stocking cap. Nor was there a finisher’s medal. No big deal either way.
We got there a good 45-60 minutes early, so we could park and walk over to the start of the race. We ended up inadvertently walking down the path of the actual race itself. As we got closer we watched them put up the start line. Right after the start line, there were some mile markers. I saw a mile 5, mile 6, mile 7, etc. I asked The Blonde if they were running a longer race as well today. She didn’t think so. Hmmmm, that was odd, I thought.
So, we made our way to the smelly brown boxes to finish off business before the lines got too long. After that we stood around for 30 mins surveying the competition. At most races, I look around and try to figure out how I am going to do and where all of the competition was going to come from. Since this was also a family walk, there were plenty of people with bibs. Then I noticed this one teenager who was 6’2″ and 130lbs at the most with legs up to his neck. Ahh, a runner. Then I noticed his friend had a Nebraska Track & Field sweatshirt on. Great, we have Division 1 athletes here. Not gonna win this one! (Not that I was going to anyways, but it is nice to believe it.)
Anyways, as I was standing around, I realized what the mile markers were. They were really pacing markers. They started at 5 and incremented up to 15. As they got higher the spacing between them got further and further apart. Great! Some organization. Unfortunately, I think I was one of the few who understood what was going on.
We made our way to the start of the nine minute pace marker. We really were doing this as a training run, not as something we had trained for. We decided we would take it nice and easy (famous last words). We figured as long as we were under 30, we were fine. As we were were standing there, I looked around. There were a lot of people, period. I figured a couple of thousand in total. However, there were a few in our immediate vicinity that were not going to run 9/min miles, no offense to them.
As we got closer to the start time, we started to hear mumbling over the PA system. Unfortunately, even though we were near the front, we could not hear much. Then we had the National Anthem. It took a bit for everyone to realize that someone was singing and to stop talking. The Blonde told me after it was done, she was too used to being at a SportingKC game as she was expecting fireworks to go off after it was over.
Then we had a countdown. And it was fake or something because nothing happened. Again, we could not hear much from the PA system. After a minute or so, we heard a new countdown and hoped it was real this time. 5-4-3-2-1! And we were off.
As with most races there was a lot of congestion at the beginning. While we were on the Sprint campus and were running on roads, they were not huge roads. Also, 30 seconds in, I heard one of the people I had pegged as being slower say, “I don’t think I will be able to run this entire thing.” I wanted to shout back then why were you up front.
I spent most of the first mile dodging and weaving people trying to pass them. Again, the roads were narrow and I would accelerate only to be cut off by congestion. I probably wasted some energy there. However, it also probably added some adrenaline.
The weather while out on the course was pretty nice for Thanksgiving. I wanted to peg it around 50 some degrees. However, it was a bit windy. With that in mind I decided to wear a long sleeve top. I am glad that I didn’t wear anything heavier. I also decided to wear my Gazelles even though I had a bit of trouble with them in the previous race. However, this race was shorter and I wore some Injinjis with them. Even then, I still had to loosen them after walking around a bit before the race.
Around 2.25 miles the course went uphill a bit and we started running into the wind. When I got to the top, I felt like I had expended way too much energy, but told myself I only had a mile to go and to push through. At this point, I pushed my sleeves up because I was starting to get hot.
As I approached 3 miles I was feeling pretty strong, partly because it was flat and / or downhill the rest of the way. So, I kicked it up a bit. My only worry was the last turn was pretty sharp and I was on the inside, so I had to make a decent cut. I ended up finishing pretty strong and passed a good number of people on the way in. In fact, I think that overall, I was only passed by two people total in the last mile. One of them, I think I passed again. That is the benefit of people starting too far from where they should be is that it is positive reinforcement as you pass them.
Long story short, I ended up PRing on a race I was just going to take easy. My official time and my watch time were .1 seconds apart, so I did a decent job of starting and stopping my watch, which is something that is easy to forget with everything else going on around you. According to my GPS, I ran a total of 3.18 miles. The extra is probably from dodging around people. My official time was 23:42.9. That beats my previous PR by half a minute or so. I was very happy with that result.