Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016 Haddon Township Turkey Trot Race Report

Ran the 10th annual Haddon Township Turkey Trot this morning.

Here are some race recaps from previous years:


I love this race because it's local so it doesn't take long for me to get there, and it's also in the town where I teach so I get to race against a lot of my students (the swim coach makes all of her swimmers run this race for conditioning, so that helps).  Spoiler alert: one of them beat me this year.  Sigh...  Also it finishes at a bar and there is a whole breakfast buffet afterwards.

Racing, followed by drinking beer.  All in all, my idea of a quality Saturday morning.

I got to the Pour House at 8 o'clock and got a sweet parking space on the street right next to the bar and finish line.  Met up with my dad for a bit, then did a quick warm up jog with Erik.

The race started promptly at 9 o'clock with close to a thousand people lining up on Haddon Avenue.  At the signal, we all tore off about a half mile down the street before making the first turn.  The course for this race is great because it is almost pancake flat with very few turns.  If the weather is perfect (like it was today), then it is a great course to set a PR on.  Too bad I just wasn't in PR shape today.

The downside to this race is that despite its size, it doesn't offer a water stop (usually not a huge deal in November, though), nor does it offer race clocks at each mile marker.  I didn't have my watch on so I had no idea how fast I was going.

One of the guys in my running group was hanging off my right shoulder, and we traded places several times in the second half of the race.  I was trying my hardest to fight off the urge to give up and just let him overtake me for good, especially because I've been fighting a cough for the last two weeks.  I kept telling myself to keep pushing because this is most likely my last race of 2016 and I wanted to finish on a high note.  I ended up edging him out by just five seconds and finished in 19:45, 24th overall and 4th in my age group.  The winner finished in 15:34.  This race is nuts.

When I crossed the line I suddenly felt the urge to throw up, which almost never happens to me after races, and I spent the rest of the morning coughing my head off.

Me: I think I made my cough worse by racing this morning.
Father-in-law: Maybe you should have skipped the race.
Me: I couldn't!  It's tradition to do this race!
Father-in-law: Your cough is becoming a tradition at this point.

I tried to congratulate as many of my students at the finish line as I could before heading to my car and getting changed.  At the awards ceremony, a woman saw me wearing an old Philly Marathon shirt and asked me about it because she had just run it last weekend.  My dad and I ended up talking to her about marathons for the next twenty minutes.

Neither my dad nor I won anything in our age groups, but Erik won 2nd in his age group and got a sweet mason jar pint glass which I picked up for him because he had already left.

My dad and I got our traditional picture beneath the Pour House sign:

And I then spent the rest of the morning with the Who's Up? crew drinking beer and talking about Boston (three of us are running in 2017 and one just qualified last weekend for 2018).

If you're looking to PR in the 5k, this is a great race to target.  Flat course, usually good weather, and right at the end of the fall so you can train mostly in moderate weather.  Can't wait for next year...

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