“This race is snow or shine.” That line was from an email I received prior to the race. Wow, they weren’t kidding! Race day brought with it snow bursts and the coldest temperatures we’ve seen on Thanksgiving in years. It was 12 degrees when the race started (brrrrrr!), and this day ended up being in the top five for lowest temperatures for our city. That fact didn’t stop the runners though, because let’s face it – runners are hardcore, and if you want to run in upstate New York, you need to be able to tolerate a variety of conditions, or you will be stuck inside on the dreadmill all Winter (even though technically, it’s still Fall).
I learned that this race was in its 5th year, but I didn’t know about it until recently. There are quite a few races to choose from in/near Rochester on Thanksgiving. The biggest race draws thousands. While that could be fun, it can also be a hassle. I wanted something more low key, and this fit the bill.
I picked up my race bib the night before. The race was only $15, t shirt optional (and extra). I did buy the tshirt – a long sleeve shirt with the logo you see above.
When I woke up Thanksgiving morning and saw the temperature, I definitely had my doubts about going. I’m not a fan of running in the cold AT ALL, but I am a fan of turkey trots, I already paid and I needed to work out. My main worry was a medical condition that is made worse by this type of weather. I have Raynauds (a painful circulation issue exacerbated by cold). To combat this, I wore three pairs of handwarmers and foot warmers to prevent getting an attack.
I headed to Mendon around 7:45 a.m. There was ample parking in a church parking lot. Fortunately, you could wait inside StudioMove (a race sponsor) until the race started. At around ten of nine, we went outside, listened to directions from the race director (and learned about who the race benefited) and then were told to follow the timing person to the start of the course. Proceeds from the race benefits Gates to Recovery, a program that helps those with addiction issues. You could also bring in canned goods to donate.
There were three events – a 5k, a 2.2 mile walk and a kids fun run. The 5k started by baseball fields. The start of the race was tricky. You had to run across the baseball field – in snow, until you got to Lehigh Valley Trail. I wasted time/energy trying to get through that snow and not twist my ankle. Once you got on the trail, it was a little better, but definitely slick, snow covered and icy. I’ve run on this trail before in Henrietta/Pittsford, but have never been on this part of the path. There were no mile markers. After running for a bit (at least a mile I think?) you headed back onto the roads around the town of Mendon. It was much better at that point – until it started to snow hard at the very end. The final part was downhill, heading back into the church parking lot. I really couldn’t see well at all by then, but just ran as fast as I could to the finish.
They had water bottles at the finish and you could head back inside for apples, granola bars and coffee. They also texted you your results immediately after the race finished. I saw a lot of people in fun hats and costumes, but I didn’t get many pictures. It was just too cold. My phone froze up at the end, so that was an issue as well.
I’ve lost a little more weight since my last race, and that definitely helped. I ran faster as well, although still slow. I feel good about how I did though, because the conditions were not ideal. My stats: 39:20. (12.41 min mile), 219 out of 346.
This race grows every year, and will probably continue to do so. They had around 350 people run this year for the 5k. I met my brother at the finish line. He lives just up the road. I was grateful he came out in this weather to be a spectator!
If you are looking for a smaller race on Thanksgiving, give this turkey trot a try! My next race is an Ugly Sweater Run. Hoping for warmer weather. 🙂
Until next time, see you on the roads!
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Weather: 12 degrees, wind chill even lower. Sun and clouds.
Location: StudioMove, Mendon, NY
Course: Lehigh Valley Trail and county roads through the Hamlet of Mendon.
Results: 2018 Mendon Turkey Trot
Amenities: Bathrooms inside, ample parking
More Info: Facebook Page