Alexandria Turkey Trot Race Report
Argh!! I just started this blog and I’m already slacking. Get on it Bets!!!
Ok…moving on. Onto one of my favorite races of the year! Turkey Trot, of course. I’m vegan, so I guess you could call it a Tofurky Trot, although I’m not really into that stuff either. How about…Thanksgiving Trot! Works for me.
So, I’m from Cleveland (it rocks) and have always run the Turkey Trot there for the past several years. It’s beautiful and right along the lake shore and is always a blast with my younger sister and dad. Read last year’s race report here. This year, however, my family decided to be silly and spend Thanksgiving at my older sister and brother-in-law’s outside of DC, in Virginia. (Just kidding…it was fun! I’m such a homebody though and really love going back to Cleveland.) Therefore, Cleveland TT was out. The second I heard about this Thanksgiving switch, I hit the interwebs to find an alternative. Because said interwebs are awesome, and Turkey Trots are plentiful, it took about 1.4 seconds to find the Alexandria 5 mile Turkey Trot. I immediately emailed my dad and we were both registered faster than you can say “eat more stuffing, less turkey.”
Unfortunately, 2 days before Thanksgiving, I started coming down with a cold (which happens incredibly often for me…I live a very healthy lifestyle but…GEEZ, I get sick more than anyone) and knew I’d have it on Thanksgiving. But, it’s the one race a year I get to do with my Dad, so I told him that unless I had a fever or was throwing up, I’d be there. And I was.
On Thanksgiving morning, after bribing my sister to take me to Starbucks (I’m a firm believer in pre-race coffee), my Dad picked me up from her house and we set off on the 30 minute drive to Alexandria. About 2/3rds of the way there, we saw a car with the license plate CU RUNNIN. We decided to follow them, and ended up at the course site.
After a bit of a wait in a Rec Center’s gym (we got there too early…), everyone was called outside and set off. I have to say I’m pretty spoiled by NYRR races. There are always corrals and runners are divided into pace groups. In smaller races like this, everyone gets bunched together and there are a lot of walkers and such so you have to either start at the front or get ready to do some weaving. Due to where I was, I had to choose the later.
The first mile was a lot of weaving in and out of people and walkers and strollers and running on slippery grass and curbs. It wasn’t fun. But, what was fun was all the spectators out. Once again, I’m used to NYRR races run in Central Park. There are rarely spectators. For this little 5 mile race, people were cheering everywhere, with signs and everything.
I wasn’t planning on pushing myself very hard because I was sick but before I know it, I was running a solid 7:30 pace. Whoops. I just can’t stop being competitive, I guess. The second and third miles were through very residential neighborhoods and it was fun to see all the people on their lawns cheering. Totally different than my regular races!
I brought my camera with me and broke it out at the beginning of mile 4. It was a beautiful, albeit cloudy day.
All in all, the race was pretty uneventful. It was quite flat with several downhills and I ended in 38:19! That is a 5-miler PR, but I’m not really sure if I’m going to count it because it was such a fast course. I don’t have splits because I missed the first mile marker and just decided to give up on keeping them. But, I kept a 7:35ish pace the entire time.
My Dad came in not long after me! He’s crazy…I know. And ran really well! But, a love of running is something that we share and I’ll always cherish our races together.
After a bit of a wait around back at the rec center (we were stuck because we parked on the course…had to wait for the SLOW walkers!!), we headed back to my sister’s, showered and before I knew it…it was Thanksgiving time!
I have to say, as much as I love Thanksgiving food, the Turkey Trot, not matter what city I’m in, will always be my favorite part of Thanksgiving. It’s something special that I get to do with my Dad (and younger sister, when she participates! She’s in Italy right now) to celebrate the day!