Did you run a Turkey Trot today? I heard recently that Thanksgiving is the day of the year with the largest number of people participating in organized running events.
It only makes sense, doesn’t it, with so many Turkey Trots happening all over the country.
Within a 20-mile radius of where we live, for example, there were four races today (that I knew about), including the largest one in the country: the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. I’ve run that one for the past two years, it’s flat and fast, but very, very, very crowded. So this year, I decided to spare the family the angst of looking for parking and rubbing shoulders with more than 30,000 people in downtown San Jose, and signed us up for a smaller, “local” race: the Zoom Turkey Trot. (Bonus: it was in a park, not downtown; second bonus: they had a half-marathon option; third bonus: the drive there was less than 20 minutes. Winning all around!)
We got to the race site a good 20 minutes before the start, which I thought would be plenty of time for a local race with just a few hundred participants. And who knows, maybe the race organizers underestimated the crowds, too: we were greeted by a lack of porta-potties (good thing I didn’t need to use one, that was a first; thank you bladder!!!) and a long line at the packet pickup/ registration tables. Luckily, I trotted over to the front of the line to check what’s going on, and it turned out the long line was for the 10k/ 5k folks, while the half marathon table had all of one person waiting. Not so lucky for HusbandRuns, though: he had to wait for his 5K bib and was, consequently, late to the start. Not an issue in a race that ranks people by chip time, but in this case, we were only timed at the finish and, as a result, only our gun times were available.
On any other day, this may have upset me — but today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful!
We started right on time and it a bit crowded at first, but the crowd spread out quickly and it was time to enjoy the beautiful, peaceful views. I am truly thankful – not just today, but every day – that we live in such a beautiful place, with natural parks galore and wonderful weather year-round:The course was almost entirely flat, for which – of course! – I was very, very thankful! Check out the elevation gain/ loss for each of my miles:A slight elevation gain for the first half, a slight loss for the second half. Could it get any better? Thankful!
I am most thankful, though, for the race volunteers – and for the fact that they served regular Coke at each aid station. My stomach was feeling a bit strange – case in point: I ate two of my favorite espresso-flavor Hammer gel without actually enjoying them – and the Coke helped tremendously.
If you ever have tummy trouble during a race, trust me: a sip or two of regular Coke, a good old belch (like a lady!) and you’ll feel sooo much better!
My friend and fellow MRTT San Jose hot mama Lorena was working the first (and last, on our way back) volunteer station and can attest to my love of Coke and the quality of my burping. If you’re curious. Thank you for the hug, Lorena! Sorry it was so sweaty on my end!
As usual in a race, I was fully expecting to feel like death the last few miles, but I guess the tiny elevation loss (a loss, nonetheless!), the Magic Coke and a hug from a friend all worked together and I finished feeling really good.
Don’t even care that they’d run out of medals! (And I was towards the front end of half marathon finishers… at least a hundred people must’ve gone home sans medal today.)
I crossed the finish at 1:54:38: a one-minute PR; more, had they tracked chip times. Thankful!
I took 5th place in my age group, HusbandRuns took 4th in his, and – get this! – we took home two turkeys from the race raffle. (They’ve already been promised to friends, as we don’t need them.)