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Nov 23 / Jane

Flemington Turkey Trot 2012

According to Athlinks.com, this was my 4th year running the Flemington Turkey Trot (although it feels like I’ve been running it forever!). I love the idea of running before Thanksgiving dinner, it makes you feel better about the mass of food you end up consuming! And I love running in Flemington because it’s local, close to my parents and on the way to Alex’s. This year we joined my best friend, Flo, and her Weidel Realtor Team of friends and family in matching, um, red, shirts. (We were supposed to have ones printed from Weidel, but they did not arrive in time, oh well, next year!)

Weidel Realtor Team

Weidel Realtor Team

Alex and I drove up race morning to meet up with the team and over 6,000 other runners for the event. Every year I run it, it gets bigger and bigger, and this was clearly the largest it’s gotten! I don’t believe they cap the race, but I think maybe they should. It’s billed as a family event, so most runners are together with family and friends and have just as many non-runners with them (spectating and walking), but even the prep area was crowded this year. Parking is another issue within the historic town. Thankfully, Flo’s mom lives down the street, so we could park there and walk home (we got a ride in from Flo’s brother, not racing, thanks Ben!).

After donning our red shirts and race bibs, we headed to the starting chute, which is set up according to pace. I started seeing whole families with strollers lined up at the 6min mile pace, and that’s where we jumped in. I’m grateful the race is chip timed, but for real, you are not running a 6min mile! People [grossly] overestimating their time really just makes for a less enjoyable race experience because I then have to go around you, and your family, in this case.

The gun went off and we battled our way through the crowds of runners and spectators, often jumping up on the sidewalk to avoid either or both. The constant sprint around people, slowing down when you can’t get around was draining. I had a side stitch by mile 2, and Alex took off. I finished a minute behind him, elbowing my way through the finish chute, which was like a parking lot with stopped sweaty, stinky runners (yuck!). Once reunited, we grabbed some yogurt and juice and waited for the rest of our team to complete the race.

The course itself is really nice through historic Main Street, Flemington; it’s been the same all the years I’ve run it. The town is very supportive of the race, most residents spectate from their porch and play music along the route, which is always encouraging. But the roads are also narrow and lined with parked cars, so it’s quite the tight squeeze for 6,000 runners. The race was always well planned and organized; post race snacks were plentiful and yummy, and the awards ceremony was quick and seamless.

With finisher ribbons!

With finisher ribbons!

Our “team” did not win anything, but we had fun running together on this holiday! We came in 29th out of 59 co-ed teams. Alex and I both rounded out the top 3, Alex finishing in 27:40 and myself in 28:24. Not terrible, but not great. I was prepared to run better but with the massive amount of people that just did not happen. Oh well.

After the race, we headed back to Flo’s mom’s place for a wonderful brunch with the family and significant others. Flo’s mom is one of the best hostesses, there was such an awesome spread, the best company, and yummy mimosas! A while later, Alex and I continued on to our destination, his parents’ for Thanksgiving dinner.

What a fabulous way to start the day, I really hope this becomes tradition. The race was crowded and crazy, but I think if I went into it with the expectation to run for fun and family (not PR on my 5k time), I think it will be much more enjoyable. The post-race brunch and eventual Thanksgiving dinner were unbeatable. Hope everyone else had a great Turkey Day! I can’t believe the holiday season is upon us now!

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