Turkey Trot Relay Race

32 degrees and snow flurries made for a very interesting Turkey Trot relay this morning! DM pal Ryan and his wife Michelle were my husband Wayne and I’s team mates this year.  They were on the ball and got there early for a fantastic parking spot right by the start/finish line. They’d also laid down the seats in their vehicle so all the kids could climb inside and stay warm throughout the race. I think there were at least 11 little children benefiting from that toasty, well-thought-out plan (Thanks again guys!!)

Our team – “Pass The Drumsticks Please” – ran well today. We’d predicted a race overall time of 1:10:45 for the 8 miles of the course (each team member running 2 miles, then passing a golden baton to the next team mate.) The rules of the race are that no timing devices can be used, so it makes it kind of fun as each team is trying to run exactly as fast as they predicted. This means that being the speediest isn’t even the goal – being consistent with your predictions is. Evening the playing field like that was pretty cool. I saw lots of young children, grandparents, parents, runners of all shapes and sizes all competing for the longed for turkeys that were rewarded to the team in each division who clocked as close to their predicted time as possible.

The winning team this year came within less than 1 second of their predicted time! Another team (some of our good friends from CFC) actually clocked within 5 seconds of their predicted time and were in 5th place when we left (amazing job, guys!!!) Our team went over by a few minutes, but it was all in good fun and a great time for all.

Several friends met at Ryan and Michelle’s vehicle and chatted before the race and it was awesome seeing so many of our pals together on this chilly morning. Everyone was bundled up, the kids were catching snowflakes on their tongues, other drank hot chocolate and I swear we could have all broken out into Christmas carols it was such a cozy feeling. That coziness wore off a bit as we waited for the start and got colder and colder standing in the weather. By the time the first group of runners took off, we’d been in the park nearly 45 minutes. We had a great spot for cheering on the runners as they zipped off – team mate Ryan blazing a speedy trail – zooming through the two miles in an impressive 12:46! WTG, Ryan!!!

Ryan handed off to his wife, Michelle for lap two and we cheered her on as she zipped by! She had a big smile on her face despite the snowfall and cold. She did a great job with her lap doing it in 26:23. Nice job, Michelle! My husband Wayne took lap 3. Wayne doesn’t run much, so I was incredibly excited that he’d even agreed to do this race with us. I loved seeing him out there running! My two younger daughters told me they needed to go potty right after he took off, so I had to hurry to the porta potties and pray the line wasn’t too bad, so I could get back for my turn in the race. Everything went without a hitch and I was at the starting line waiting for Wayne when he came racing in, finishing nice and strong with a time of 20:49. I loved seeing his face, as he handed the golden baton off to me as he sent me on my way to finish it up for the team. The crowd support was awesome – despite the chilly weather and the snow. The surge of cheers from my pals helped me get off to a good start. Unfortunately, I also realized very quickly, that standing in the weather had given me a very frozen pair of feet (something I heard nearly every runner on the course comment on today.) It was the strangest feeling, like smacking them frozen solid onto the pavement over and over. The chilly air was heavier than usual, so my breathing felt “off” too. I just couldn’t seem to find my “comfy” fast pace today. I could tell from the start that I was running slower than intended, but without the help of my Garmin I wasn’t sure just how far off I was. The course ran through the parking lot of a local park, circling some tennis courts and large, grassy areas, crossing two very slippery wooden bridges and then back to the start. By the time I was on the course, there were hardly any runners nearby. It was an odd feeling – but reminded me of my first marathon where the 130 participants got very spaced out and the final several miles were on my own. Thankfully, this was just a two mile course, so that feeling didn’t last long — but it did make it hard to really push the way I had intended since I seem to find a second gear when “chasing” down faster runners.

I raced into the finish with a time of 15:39 to the encouraging sound of cheers from my friends and family, which helped me at least to have a good, strong finish (in spite of feeling like I was fairly slow on the course today.) I celebrated the effort with nice, toasty cups of hot chocolate with my husband and five children.

Thanks again to all my team mates! Great job everyone! 

Stats: 2 miles. Time: 15:30 Pace: 7:49 Felt: Super cold and the snowflakes kept burning my eyes. Muscles were tensed up since I didn’t get a warm up in before. Didn’t find my groove and ran much slower than expected.

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