As seems to be tradition for a growing number of people, I too run a race Thanksgiving morning. This year, I ran in the 3rd Annual Livonia Turkey Trot in Livonia, NY. This was a small, low key race which was perfect for me. Livonia is only about 25 minutes from my house (another bonus), so I decided to give it a go. The distance for this race was not a 5k (3.1), but a little bit longer at 3.4 miles. I’ve noticed some turkey trots are not the usual distances. Not sure why…
Instead of waiting for race day, I decided to pick up my tshirt (nicely designed by a 9 year old) and bib the night before. So, after work, I headed to Livonia high school. “Just look for the big inflatable turkey.” Ok, good, got it.
On race day morning, it was cold and sunny – 30s. Good running weather. I got there around 7:15 . You were encouraged to bring canned goods to donate. Besides the food, monetary proceeds for this race were going to the Livonia Food Pantry.
This race was not chip timed. The run finished near the high school track. There was also an obstacle course for kids and kids run around the track.
The course started around the back of the high school and then ran thru part of the village and in neighboring streets. It was downhill at first – hooray! Then, it was flat (good) and then some uphill parts (yuck). I was not expecting those. I was slow, but kept going. There were points I wanted to stop, but I have never stopped during a race and I am not about to.
My hands were cold because of the Raynauds, but I had hand warmers. There was a water stop at mile 2. Finally, the route went towards the front of the high school and then on the grass by the track to the finish. I was soooo relieved to be done! I was in the back of the pack of course. The race was 3.4 miles, but my watch clocked me in at 3:48, so I am considering that almost 3 1/2 miles. Results can be found HERE.
After the race, you could get coffee, water, bananas, apples, bagels and timbits. There were a lot of families running it, which is a nice tradition to have. The kids races were very cute to watch. They all got medals. After that, they announced the 2 main male and female winners. They got turkeys and hats as prizes. Then, it was raffle time! They had a lot of nice prizes. They pulled your bib number for a prize. I really wanted the cake pop bouquet by Sweet Arts Bakery– so cute – looks like it had a running turkey cookie on it. They were also giving out gift certificates for a gym, hair cut, massage and to a local restaurant on the lake. I did not win anything. Oh well! And then that was it, race over – time to go home.
A lady I was talking to told me that this race has grown from 25 or so runners in year one to almost 400 in just its 3rd year. They should be proud of that and all the food gathered and money raised ($3,000!) for the pantry. For more details on the race, check out their FB page.
I was VERY relieved to finish this race, as it was my last one of the season! I finished enough races to earn my 50 miles in races patch from the Greater Rochester Track Club. Finally! Considering my weight and injuries this year, this is nothing short of a Thanksgiving miracle. Overall, this was my 67th race in the last 5 years. Hard to believe. I have gotten bigger and slower, but I will never give up!
I think this race will grow in the future, especially as a small town alternative to the bigger races near Rochester. In the past, I have run the Race For Grace 10k in Greece, NY (3x) and last year I did a 5k turkey trot in Hornell, NY. I was going to try a 5 mile turkey trot in Newark, NY, but that is an hour away, and honestly – I just did not feel like doing the extra mileage. There were also the Webster turkey trot races to consider. They get over 5,000 runners and suggest you take a shuttle bus to them. And if you think that is crowded, imagine the race in Buffalo, NY. It sold out at over 13,000 runners! I’m just not into maneuvering around that many people. I’m not sure if I will run a race next Thanksgiving, although I did learn of one I have never done in Canadaigua.
I was glad to participate in this little race. Sure, I’m much heavier and slower than I have been in years. But, after an injury-filled, challenging year, I am truly grateful and give thanks for being able to run at all! I think that people going out to run before the big meal is a great tradition. I find it much more appealing than the whole commercialism that follows on Black Friday. I like to shop as much as the next person, but for one day it’s just nice to do a little running, indulge in your favorite foods and relax.
As always, thank YOU for reading. I hope you have (or had) a terrific turkey day. Stay tuned for a unique race review of a race I plan to watch and not run. Details to follow.
Please consider following my blog as well, as I am going to be giving away some items to celebrate my 1 year “blogversary” soon. I’m also now on Twitter (you can follow me there by clicking on the Twitter button to the right of this blog post).
Pros: Low key race. Nice small town feel. Easy to get to. Decent course. Friendly people.
Cons: None really. I like when races have chip timing, but I know that can be expensive, esp. for smaller races. Also, I was not sure if you could go in to the high school and use the restrooms. If this race gets bigger, they might want to consider opening that up.
Stats: 43:00 275/388 (12:38 pace)
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