Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Trot 10k Race Report

After I volunteered at the Tom Walker Half Marathon, I made sure to register for membership to the Florida Track Club (FTC) so that I could take advantage of the FTC discount for the upcoming Turkey Trot here in town. I’ve always been curious (and jealous) of people who run on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is for sleeping in and cooking, not running!

But I decided to give it a try, since it was pretty affordable for a 10k. 

I was able to do packet pickup in the days before the race, which was good. That takes some of the stress out of the morning
Nicely packaged
The Shirt
Hubby, unfortunately, had to work at 7:30, so I had to work around that.

When I woke on Thanksgiving morning, it was 29*, according to The Weather Channel. Oh, Lord. I don’t know if I can do this!

I ended up in tights, Sparkle Skirt, base layer, tech tee, quarter-zip, BondiBand, fuzzy headwarmer from Walmart and gloves. I was still cold.

When we got in the car, there was ice on the windows, but the car said it was all the way up to 32*!

I need a car wash, air in my tires and gas
We joked about how stupid I was to run in this while the car warmed up, and eventually the windows were clear enough for us to drive, so I took him to work, then decided to stop at a local convenience store for hot chocolate. That always warms me up!

Traffic was heavy as I waited to enter Tacachale.

At least 10 cars at each turn signal, plus however many in my line
When I got to Tacachale (where the race was), I of course, had to pee.  I parked in the lot (near a guy getting dressed in a turkey suit), walked across the (frosted) field and found the bathroom.

He's a turkey, with a Santa Hat.... mmmm'kay
Yes, that is frost, not sand - this means that my feet were soaked by the time I got to the start line
It took a long time (everyone was peeing!), and then we all had to haul ass to the start line, which was about ½ mile from the bathroom (that would’ve been good information to know, people!)

As I’m walking to the start line, I see no trash cans. After we start, I see no trashcans. Where the hell are the trashcans!  I look like a fatass, walking a 10k with a cup of hot chocolate! But, because I’m a nice person, I didn’t want to just chuck it in the grass…

So, after about only 5 minutes, I was already last.  It’s cold, my nose hurts, and I’m behind three teenagers who keep looking back and giggling. I already hate them.

Black Shirt, Grey Shirt and White Shirt = The Snots
Within a mile, we get to trail. Let me tell you about this…. When I signed up, the Active.com page said that it was a trail, but that there were ‘plenty’ of places where you could choose between trail or pavement. I envisioned something totally different in my head. This was like 95% trail. I’ve never trained for trail. And the trail was wet because it rained last night.

It's pretty, but I didn't train for this
I walked a lot.

By Mile 1, I was dead last – so last that the clean-up truck was behind me.

Mile 1 - Deep in the woods
Back off dude, I know I'm last
And the snot-noses were still in front of me, moseying like they were at the mall.

Am I gonna get cancer from those?
One thing I want to point out, about FTC (who put on this race) – they did a GREAT job marking the trail, in regards to trip hazards.  As I was walking, I kept seeing random orange streaks on the ground. I realized after a bit that they had colored tree roots and rocks and stuff so that you would see them better. Good idea!

Getting to Mile 2, I was still last. Still on the trail. Not a lot of sun could penetrate the heavy trees, so I was still cold and snotty.

It does say Mile 2, I promise
Right about 2 ½ miles, we got our first water stop. There were about 3 people there. I think they looked bored.

The Snots
After the water stop, we finally got some cement!  A guy came from behind me out of nowhere, and basically said “Yay, cement!” and ran on.

I love pavement! I wish it loved me and stuck around...
The yay didn’t last very long – within a quarter-mile we were back on trail. However, I used that quarter mile to get in front of those three snots, and I was feeling a bit better. I tried to keep Cement Guy in my sights, but he disappeared eventually.

Ugh, more ‘trail’. It was basically a cleared-out area filled with pine straw. Very slippery stuff. Mile 3 was in this area, and I was feeling good, even if I was pretty much last, doing a trail run when I‘ve never trail run before. I puffed on the inhaler and kept pushing on.

On the other side of the fence is a Super Wal-mart, and bad neighborhoods
Oh, look – it’s the Tacachale Star!  In our town, if you’ve ever gone down Waldo Road during the Christmas season, you’ve seen this all lit-up. It was really cool to see just how tall it was, I had to take a photo.

Shine on!
Oh, thank God – more road!  Mile 4 brought us into neighborhoods, and I was able to run my intervals again. The Snots are still behind me, but they are further and further away. At one point, the course curved around and you could see Point B from Point A, so as I’m walking past Point B, the Snots decided to cut the course and skip ¾ of a mile. This wasn’t the first time I’ve ever seen someone actually cut a course, but it was the first time it pissed me off.

Tacachale is a self-contained community for Less-Abled People (is that PC enough?)
We come to the split point, where the 5k goes one way and the 10k goes the other, and oh look, more ‘trail’ i.e. pine straw.


The Mile 5 marker was here, though, so I was happy! So was a water stop, a little further up
.

I said something inane to the volunteers, then thanked them for being awesome and kept going.

The volunteers are hiding in the trees!
I exited the Tunnel of Trail into a large field that just had a bunch of stakes and orange tape marking the ‘course’. It was very confusing, as the 5k went one way and the 10k went the other.  My course went pretty straight across, then back into the woods.

Can I just lay down in the grass and enjoy the sun?
Once in the woods, there was more orange tape, woven through trees and such.

There better not be any machete-wielding serial killers in these woods!
Finally, I see the sign for Mile 6. I’m close to the finish, and I can see the parking lot, where my car is, and it’s pretty empty – most people have already left.

So close! To the finish AND my car!
The volunteers directing both traffic AND me to the finish line were VERY cheerful and  nice (unlike the skank at Mile 4 who told me to hurry up so that cars could go by…).  Lots of clapping and cheers from them as I headed towards the finish line.

Oh, and who do I hear behind me? The Snots. As I run into the finish line, the guy decides to run in as well, trying to pass me.  Really, bro? Really?!?  Do your balls feel a little bigger cutting the course and then trying to pass a fat girl in a skirt? Screw you, cheater.

Besides almost being passed (I beat the guy by .091 seconds - The Snots came in last!), the finish line was just a joke. There wasn’t anyone around cheering in any runners (yeah, I know I was late, but still…) – Mary (a co-worker from a different department) did throw out a Woo-Hoo for me, but I didn’t hear it apparently. My official time was 1:44:40.395. (The guy was 1:44:40.486)

And to add insult to injury of this crappy race?  NO MEDALS!  To me, a 10k is a big deal. A medal would’ve been nice! (Edit – I decided later that I’m going to take that medal I forgot I had from the Tom Walker Half-Marathon and repurpose it into a Tacachale 10k Turkey Trot medal.)

Here is my "Medal" for the Turkey Trot - Let's hear it for creativity and stickers!
Anyway, I got my photo taken at the Finish Line (that they were dismantling mere moments after I crossed…) and went looking for refreshments. No bananas (I don’t eat them, but still…). I didn’t see any bottled water, but there was GatorAde in the coolers, so I grabbed a cup of that and watched the awards for a bit.

I'm so cool - hell, I'm so COLD!
After a few minutes though, once I had cooled down and finished my Gatorade, I gave Mary a hug and headed back to the house – my mother was planning on coming over for Thanksgiving around noon, and I needed to warm up in a hot shower!