What: Slattery’s Turkey Trot (5 mile)
Where: Fitchburg, MA
When: Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm (shout out to whoever thought running at 1 was a great idea)
Look. I did a race. Now I’m more that someone who just claims they run and really only blog about baking cookies. I love the idea of running a race before Thanksgiving, but that day can be so busy that I’m glad this one falls the Sunday before. The last time I did the race was in 2008… so I had completely forgot what the course was like and all the great downhills. Here’s a little about how it went:
Mile 1: Starts out flat and takes you up a little hill at the end of the road, but they you turn left and that brings you on in the middle of a hill on a new road. At the top, the course starts going down and through Fitchburg State University. From this point on, the rest of the first mile is relatively flat with a little downhill action.
Mile 2: Slight incline around mile 1.5 but other than that, flat and down… At this point I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about the race, I should have used my energy different for the first two miles because I was already feeling a little tired and couldn’t get my feet to roll with the flat.
Mile 3: Again, downhill for the most part with two hills that weren’t bad at all. There was also a water stop after mile 3. The worst part about this race is from a little bit before the mile 3 market until around mile 4.5 because you are on this busy road with MA drivers (no offense). They have a very hard time waiting for cars and they have no choice but to stare at you run by since it’s only a two lane road with runners taking up half.
Mile 4: This mile was all on one road so that was pretty boring. And being near all those stopped cars made me want to run pretty fast but still I couldn’t get my legs to get in a good rhythm. However, I just kept trotting along.
Mile 5: The last mile continues going along the busy road which is at a slight downhill. Then, with about half of a mile to go, you turn right and go up a pretty big hill that seems to go on forever. This is the same hill that you turned onto in mile one, but the opposite side. I actually thought I was going to die. There is something about going from flat/downhill to an immediate include that really messes with my stomach. When you reach the top of the hill, you turn left and then get to go down the first hill you started out on and onto a flat section for the finish.
As you can see, it’s a nice flat finish to cut off a few extra seconds you may have loss going up the hill. There was also perfect weather going on. Mid 50s, sunny, bright. I actually think I was dehydrated since it had been so cold this week. That must have been my problem.
Then you actually finish right here. How very exciting.
Then if you are waiting for your mom to finish, you have a beer. After the race they had water, vegetable soup, beer, and turkey sandwiches. For the race I wore my favorite Lululemon shorts and Nike headband that I wore for my marathon outfit, a nike running shirt that I wore from the All Women’s Half, and had my nike tech cape for after. My shoes of choice were Brooks Ravenna 5s with Pro Compression low socks. I had every intention of wearing my marathon socks from Pro Compression and a long sleeve, but I was too hot for me and I hate feeling overheated.
The top male and female finishers get cash prizes, where the top for each age category get…. Turkeys! I had placed one time when i was in the younger category, but they ladies in the 20-29 range are speeeeedy. I ended up 9th in my age and 97th overall (out of 635) with a time of 36:15 (7:15 miles on the nose). I also beat my high school time of 38 something which makes me happy.
Overall it is a very organized race. They keep you updated on when it is starting prior to the starting time, and at the end they do the turkey awards right away when they have the first runners in so you aren’t hanging around. The only weird thing was that you had no idea the race was starting if you weren’t at the front of the line. All of a sudden (right on time) a gun went off. They got you to the line on time via the announcer, but I was fiddling with my phone and then heard the boom.
This is also a great community race since all proceeds go towards scholarships. The owner of Slattery’s even comes and talks before the race.
So I encourage you to go out there and find a Turkey Trot in your area… or after Thanksgiving if you think you ate too much turkey!