Festival Foods Turkey Trot Race Recap

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope that you are enjoying your day with family or friends.  We are having a relaxing day.  Tim took Jaden to go see the movie Wreck-it Ralph!  I tried to take a nap, but instead I feel like I just wasted an hour of study time, because my body doesn’t allow me to nap. 

I was excited to be able to start my day with a five mile turkey trot in Marshfield.  Last year, Tim and I ran a 5K turkey trot in Wausau, and it was nice to have a race even closer this year.

I picked up my packet last night after work.  I got there shortly after 4:30 and I was literally in and out in about 90 seconds.  They were very well organized and had more volunteers than they needed.  I’m sure it got busier after 5:00, when more people got off work.

I got to the high school where the race started, about 45 minutes before the start this morning.  I found a great parking spot.  I had enough time to find a few friends and say a few hellos before the race started.

This is what happens when you let someone else take a picture with your cell phone.  But, I loved the turkey mascot and had to get a picture with him. 

The weather was incredible.  Seriously, it is never 55 degrees on Thanksgiving!  However, it was really nice to have the school open as a place to wait for the race to start.  Because it was so warm, I had a hard time deciding what to wear.  I eventually settled on a pair of capris and my tank with my long sleeve tech tee.  I was a little chilly standing outside, but warmed up as soon as I started running.

I fell into my usual problem of starting out too fast.  Except this time, I was getting passed by people left and right.  I couldn’t believe it.  I kept checking my Garmin to see what was going on.  I was keeping a decent pace, but I guess my community has gotten faster!

My goal for this race was to finish in around 45 minutes.  I didn’t want to push it too hard, but I wanted to maintain a decent pace for longer than a 5K.  I felt pretty good for the first couple miles.  There was a water station at mile 2.8 (they painted the distance on the road), that I skipped.  I started to slow down during miles 3 and 4.  It seemed that my legs just couldn’t keep up with my mind.  Once I knew I was getting closer to the end, I tried to pick it up a little.

This race also had a two mile fun run/walk.  There were a lot of families, people with strollers and dogs who chose that option.  It is a great way to get everyone involved in some Thanksgiving day fitness.  The only problem is that the end of the 2 mile course was the same as the end of the 5 mile course.  This made for a lot of congestion toward the end.  Walkers tend to be more social and there were several times when the road was crowded with walkers and strollers and dogs and it was difficult for the runners to weave through.

The biggest problem was right at the end.  In order for the runners to finish across the timing chip, the runners had to cut through all the runners to get to the right hand side of the course.  This felt like navigating an obstacle course.

Usually, I try to sprint it in to the end of a race.  I didn’t have a whole lot left in my legs to sprint this one in.  I had been lacking in motivation going into this race and I was a bit tired.  But, I know that I gave it everything I had at the end. 

Once I finished, I had my timing chip clipped off my shoe by a volunteer, who turned out to be my friend, Corey, who helped to organize the event!  I went to get some water, half a banana, and doughnut hole (nice touch) and my free pie.

I ended up finishing 5th in my age group.  Not too shabby.  I haven’t run very many 5 mile races, but this did end up being my PR for this distance.  My old PR was from two and a half years ago!

Pros:

*There was pie!  Did I mention that I got pie?

*The course.  It was flat, it was well marked.  The intersections were manned by volunteers or law enforcement.  I’m not sure if the volunteers were new to the world of races (we have very few local events), but they weren’t very enthusiastic.  Some of them were cheering, but most of them were just standing there.

*The weather.  Not something that the organizers can control, but it couldn’t have been a better day.  Mild, sunny, very little wind.

*A PR.  I can’t complain about that.

*The school.  It is great to have a warm place to congregate before and after the event.

*Results.  The results were posted online before lunch.  Well done.

Cons: 

*No mile markers.  If I hadn’t had my Garmin, I would have had no idea where I was on the course.  Mile markers are nice for people to plan their pacing strategy.

*Tiny water cups.  I’m used to finishing a race and grabbing a bottle of water with my post race fuel.  Instead of water bottles, they had small paper cups full of water.  I think this led to some congestion as people were doubling back to get another cup of water.

*Tim.  Once again, Tim was planning on doing this race.  Just like our last race, he wasn’t able to participate.  He has been dealing with some back pain for quite a while now and hasn’t been able to run.

*Walker congestion.  I’m sure there is a way to set up the end of the course to keep the walkers on one side and the runners on the other side.

*Finish line congestion.  The event organizers used reusable timing chips that were ziptied to your shoes.  That meant that after the run, they had to be cut off each runners shoe.  This caused a bit of a traffic jam as soon as you crossed the line.

Overall grade:

B+  I am thrilled that Marshfield finally has a turkey trot.  I will definitely do this race again…probably every year.  I know that a lot of the minor issues that they experienced this year will be easily fixed by next year.

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4 thoughts on “Festival Foods Turkey Trot Race Recap

  1. Pingback: Turkey Trot Race Preview | (G)O'Donnell

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