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Yesterday I did what I always do on Thanksgiving, ran in the local Turkey Trot.  I thought I’d offer some advice to others based on my experience.

First, get there on time unless you want to add on 2 miles to and from your car onto your distance, because there will be many more people than you expect, in fact, there will be a sea of electric-green-clad humanity, because at some when you weren’t paying attention, turkey trots became  a thing.

Now the next thing is to sign up and get your shirt.  If you are a petite female, know that the size Small will not fit you, so don’t bother to ask for it.  (The Medium will be a good size to wear as a nightgown or perhaps a dress if you are into that look).  But really, it doesn’t matter, because Turkey Trot shirts are by far the most hideous race shirts you will ever see, usually featuring some sort of cartoon turkey who resembles Donald Duck with a big red tumor on his lip and a pilgrim hat, so you will never want to actually wear the shirt, even to bed.   Just ask for a large and give it to charity.

When it is time to line up at the start, there is important information you’ll need in order to go to the right corral.  Even though it is a chip-timed race, remember, this is a turkey trot.  Assume that  most of the people there will be in the wrong corral.  Of the people lined up at the start, perhaps 1/4 actually know their pace (but you don’t need to worry about them because they are the high school track team and they will be ahead of everyone during the whole race.)   Roughly half of the runners are either wildly optimistic about their expected paces, or have no idea, but think they will run faster if they start near the front.  And the rest of the runners aren’t actually paying any attention to where they line up, because they are on the phone with the person at home who is supposed to be putting the turkey in the oven.  These people will be surprised when the gun goes off.  And then there is you…dutifully seeding yourself accurately in the 8 minute corral because you ran an 8:10 in your last 5 mile race.  See where I’m going with this?  Don’t do it!  Lie to yourself and line up with the faster group, otherwise you will spend the first 5 minutes of the race trying to get clear of the people who should be in the 11 minute group.

And finally,  enjoy the run,  embrace the middle of the pack, cheer the very fast ones and the very slow ones, then go home and enjoy your turkey or tofurkey, and plan on doing a long run for Black Friday.

 

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