It had been only 5 days since the Cape Henry 10 miller but I wanted to run this race on Thanksgiving Day...besides it's only 10K. After running two marathons and a 10 miler in three weeks, a 10K should be a piece of cake and I wanted to see if I could improve on my time with hopes of breaking 40 minutes on this flat course.
The Turkey Trot 10K takes place in Virginia Beach at Mount Trashmore...Yes the Mount is a former mound of trash that has been capped and now it and it's surrounding land and lakes is a park...and probably the highest point of land in the lower Hampton Roads area...but we don't run up or down the mount, just around it, one of the lakes and the surrounding neighborhood.
All week the weather reports were calling for showers and mild temperatures. Last year I heard that it was run in a downpour...and I really didn't like the idea of running in heavy rain. I don't mind anything above my shoes getting wet...it normally does because I tend to sweat a lot...But I hate running in wet soggy shoes. But Thanksgiving morning dawned with now a forecast of slight chance of showers later with sun and clouds but also with higher temps...in the 70's...and winds in the 12-20 mph range.
I slept in...If you can call getting up at 5:30 sleeping in...I do, since I usually get up during the week at 4:00. I would have slept in longer but I had decided to do the same day registration and packet pickup and needed to get there earlier in order to do that. I got to the YMCA around 7:30, got registered, got my bib and timing chip and still had some time to kill since the race didn't start till 9:00. I warmed up by running up and down Mt Trashmore a couple of times and then walked to the start line. I had gone to the port-a-lets just before and when I got out to head to the start line I see hundreds of runners already there awaiting the start. I hadn't realized that so many people were running this on Thanksgiving morning thinking there would be the usual 4-600 people until I see all these people massing there...it looked like a couple of thousand. Since this is a gun start with a chip timed finish...meaning no chip mats at the start, just finish time mats...I found a place to await the start about 3-4 rows of runners back from the start line and did some final stretches. At 9:00 the horn sounds and we're off and I start my watch. The front of the pack rushes out with us all following. I don't want to go out too fast but all the runners around me are starting to kick it in from the start and I follow one of the "slower" packs out but we still seem to be going pretty fast. I just don't realize how fast we have started until Steve, a fellow local blogger ...who is a sub 39 10K'r and is a whole lot faster than I am...catches up to me just before the first mile marker. I'm surprised because I'm thinking he is in one of the packs out front. We chat a bit before he continues on ahead I try to find my pace. The pack I'm with finally goes pass the first mile marker remarking that its 5:50 something and I'm thinking, No Way!. I press the lap on my watch and it reads 5: 57...this is way to fast and I back down just a bit. We are now in a neighborhood looping around through the streets and mile two comes in at 12:23...a 6:12 average...still a bit fast since I was planning on 6:30 splits with the first ones a bit faster in the 6:20 range. Mile three comes in at 19:12, which gives me a 6:26 pace and all seems to be well. We head out of the neighborhood back towards Mt Trashmore that takes us behind the mount and around the surrounding lake and into a strong head wind. As we're leaving the neighborhood, a fast runner I recognize from other races as being in my age group overtakes me. I want to hang with him but it seems like the energy isn't there and I see him stretching his lead with every minute. There are others passing me now...kids...they can't be more than 16-18 year olds...they seem to have so much energy and are running effortlessly...oh to be young again. Mile four comes in at 26:16...that's over a 6:30 pace and I can feel I'm losing ground on my quest for sub 40. We are finishing the loop around the lake headed back towards Mt Trashmore and mile five comes in at 33:21 and I try to push faster. We go around Trashmore for the final time and hit the main road that takes us to the finish. Mile six comes in at 40:15 with the finish in view now and I pick up the pace some to try to finish strong and cross the mat in 41:37. Not a sub 40 but sill a 22 second PR from my best 10K. It still was a good day until the awards ceremony. The trophies for the top three AG finishers were turkey topped trophies and I thought I had a good chance of getting one...I had only seen...recognized...one other person in my AG that had passed me but it turns out my AG as well as all the others had a very strong field of fast runners and there were two others that were way up front that I never saw, and I ended up fourth with no Turkey...Oh well...maybe next year. It was a fun race and it was nice to talk with a couple of runners from my work as well as a couple of women from my gym. Then home to a wonderful feast of turkey and all the fix'ins with the family and a birthday party for my granddaugher Kaylee who is 2!
There were 75 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 1256 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 53 of 1256
Age group finish place was 4 of 75
Time: 41:37 for an overall pace of 6:41 per mile
Hope all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.