I’ve run quite a few Turkey Day races over the years. This Thanksgiving event was an inaugural race, held in downtown Rochester. I decided to do this race because I liked the fact that it was a low key event. I know many people opt for the huge turkey day trots, but that is way too many people for me.
The race started at 9:00 a.m. from the Blue Cross Arena. I picked up my bib and t-shirt the night before. The t-shirt was very soft and cute, but in junior sizing, so it definitely ran small.
I got to the venue pretty early. You could wait inside, use the restrooms and just relax until race time. Around ten minutes before 9:00, we headed to the starting area. The course was the same one as the Johnny’s 5 mile St. Patrick’s Day race I started my running race season with this year. Temperatures were 13 degrees and frigid that day. On this race day, it was still cold – around 30 degrees. There was no fanfare or announcements before we started. I also did not notice a lot of people dressed in turkey attire. I saw a few headbands, but that was about it. I wore special turkey socks.
I’ve gained weight this year, and it has definitely set me back. I also came down with a nasty cold, so I really wasn’t feeling well at all. I went to urgent care the day before, and they said it was safe to run, as long as I take it easy.
The course started off on the city streets and then headed up and across the Ford Street bridge until taking a turn towards the University of Rochester campus. You then run a bit and go up a slight incline by a water stop (the halfway point) before heading back. They had mile markers for each mile. I was doing ok for the most part, even though I felt like I was wheezing due to being sick. I was definitely in the very back of the pack. And, unlike other races, where you see all shapes and sizes, I really did not see any heavier people at all (other than myself). Mile 3 to 4 seemed to go on FOREVER, but I finally saw the end in sight, and headed towards the finish. Five miles is a long way to run, especially when you aren’t feeling well. At that point, I really wish the race had been a 5k instead. I never stopped though. I was so slow though, that, by the time I headed inside, they were already handing out awards.
I finished in a time of 1:02, a 12:31 minute mile. There were only a dozen or so people behind me. A little under 300 people ran the race. While my pace was certainly slow, it definitely shows serious runners signed up for this one. At a typical race, you have many people who run 13, 14 and even 15 min miles or walk. I only saw one walker. So, that was a little discouraging.
As for post race treats, they had mini water bottles, mini muffins, apples and small bagels to snack on. Winners received homemade pies!
Overall, this was a nice event. It was easy to find a place to park, the course was decent, the t-shirt was cute and being able to use restrooms inside was a nice plus. I would like to see more recreational (slower) runners sign up. That being said, it’s my own fault for gaining so much weight and backtracking on all my progress. I should be running less than 10 minute miles. I still run 4-5x a week, despite my added weight. Even though I’ve had setbacks this year (all my own fault), I’m proud that I continue to work out. Even though I am overweight, I do not consider myself completely out of shape at all – as I have decent cardio capacity, a low resting heart rate and good vitals. I have to keep these facts in mind when I beat myself up or get too discouraged.
This race was my 6th of the year and 85th overall since I’ve started running (!!). It concludes my 2017 running season. I’ve earned enough points to earn my bronze plaque from the US Track & Field Association (#woot #woot). I’m still running outside at lunch and on weekends, but I know that will end soon due to weather. I won’t lie – I’m DREADING the return to the gym and the treadmill (aka dreadmill).
While there are some interesting races out there in December, I won’t be participating. Best of luck to those of you who will be. I’m going to be clamping down on finances next year, so I doubt I will do many races, if any (other than the Corporate Challenge).
Until next time, see you on the roads!
Time: 9:00 AM
Weather: 30s, sun/clouds, not windy
Location: Blue Cross Arena (start), through U of R campus and back
Course: Mostly flat, two small incline areas
Results: Race Results
Amenities: Real restrooms inside arena, post race snacks, street or garage parking
More Info: Race page