Happy Day After Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day was filled with lots of food and family. I started my morning at the Long Beach Turkey Trot and am extremely proud to say I placed 2nd female overall in my time slot. I’ve done this run the last 3 years and it is a great way to start a day that is traditionally about overeating and being gluttonous. Tons of folks were dressed up as turkeys and pilgrims with tutus and other hilarious costumes, so it's a fun run.
This race takes place right on the boardwalk in Belmont Shore. There’s both a 5K and a 10K, and the course is flat and scenic. The 5K Turkey Trot turns around right after you go over the pier, and the 10K goes all the way to the Harbor at Shoreline Village. This is a particular race where they don’t block off the path for runners, so there are cyclists and other folks on the path during the race. This makes it a bit crowded on the way back, so I always recommend the first time slot to avoid even more people in the later slots.
My intention was to keep an 8-minute/mile pace, but I have to say that having a GPS watch is really motivating on your pace (see a few posts back for more details on the Garmin Forerunner 620 and all of its great features). I was in the front of the pack at the starting line for the 7am time slot with all of the tall, skinny high school track kids. As we rushed out after the blow horn went off, there were quite a few men that passed me. My Garmin indicated my first mile split was 6:52. I knew I was going too fast and tried to slow it down. My splits were 6:52, 7:39, 7:42, 7:52, 7:47, and 7:50. I was passed by two women, but kept my pace and made it to the turnaround point. Around mile 4, another girl came up and passed me. I paced with her for about a mile. When we got back to the bike path there was a small incline and she slowed down. I finally passed her around mile 5. I always work the last mile of every race thinking, "I’m good now - almost there. Just focus on the finish line." It helps me calm down and avoid the overly anxious feeling that sets in with the last mile.
Once I crossed the finish line, I bent over and caught my breath. This woman rushed up to me and said “Congratulations, you just got second place!” AND I still couldn’t breathe. So I stood up and said, “REALLY?!” and then bent back over to try to catch my breath again. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never placed in any race! However, this race is not officially timed, and I was so excited about placing that I forgot to stop my watch! The cool thing about the Forerunner 620 is you can see when your cadence slows, so you can actually get your time even if you don't stop the watch. The Turkey Trot in Long Beach donates tons of money to great charities. It costs a lot to include timing technology in a race. The folks who coordinate the Long Beach Turkey Trot choose to forgo the timing system to give all of the money raised to local charities. I think this is great, and it made me even happier that I had a Garmin. I came in at 42:11 on the clock at the race. My Garmin clocked me at 46:36. I still came in second. And that’s what I’m really proud of.
This race had awesome goodies at the finish. They gave away 650 pies to random finishers (I got an apple pie!), and there were tons of KIND bars and Dunkin Donuts coffee, and of course lots of fruit and water. Overall, this is a great race that really helps the community.
Did anyone else run a Turkey Trot yesterday? How’d it go and did you dress up?