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Friday, November 28, 2014

Race Recap: Powell Turkey Trot 4 Miler

One of the "medals" - Magnets designed by local elementary school students.
The first annual Powell Turkey Trot took place Thursday, November 28, 2014 at 8:30am. [The course]

Last year, we ran the Columbus Turkey Trot in Upper Arlington. That race begins at Whole Foods, just over a mile from our house. Unfortunately, the course is pretty bleak for the location. If only they could get permission to run through the lovely neighborhoods. Instead, it's a mile or two straight shot down Lane Avenue... making it the most boring, concrete-filled run ever. And to top it off, we got stuck in traffic for twenty or more minutes, simply trying to leave the parking lot. We were on a tight deadline to get showered and drive up to Cleveland, so it was annoying.

Free beer!
Fast forward to this year. I assumed we'd run the Flying Feather 4 Miler in Dublin, but I kept putting off sign up. I searched online and found a few more option, finally stumbling onto the Powell Turkey Trot. Do you know what convinced us? FREE BEER. Free good and local beer. (Sideswipe Brewing)

We arrived around 7:45am and got a parking spot across from the start/finish line. We sat in the car for a few, but decided to go over to the canned food donation to drop off our cans. (Awesome idea!) While doing so, we realized that the race organizers had access to the community center and indoor bathrooms!! We went back to the car to drop off Alex's coat and the rest of the pre-race time was spent indoors enjoying the heat.

It was about 30 degrees. It got cooler during the race so I was happy with my outfit: 2 headbands, 2 pairs of gloves, a tank top, long sleeve tech shirt, tech hoodie, knee high socks, and two pairs of running tights (the top ones are pretty lightweight). Lots of layering.

Alex's magnet medal - my favorite turkey!
The Race
There was a kid's race at 8:00am and then the main run/walk set off at 8:30. A few minutes before, everyone began to line up. I (naively) assumed this suburban race would be a slow field and Alex would win a top spot and I could beat a fair number of people. Upon line-up a few young dudes started to strip off, only to reveal Division 1 college cross country singlets. Whoa. I kind of forgot the Powell area has some of the best cross country kids in town... and that the alums would be home for Thanksgiving. Silly me! I must say, Turkey Trots are probably full of the fastest runners I've encountered. All those crazy high schoolers and kids home from college!

The race set off and I realized I'd lined up a bit closer to the fast folks than I should have, but luckily I wasn't in the way and I kept up pretty well. I was going a little faster than I intended, which I tried to back off of after the second turn. I was also staying out of the way. My first mile was 8:33 according to my watch. Unfortunately, I did not have Map My Run going. I didn't feel like carrying my phone. I think it may be time I invest in a Garmin... (They're $100 today!)

The course elevation. Steady uphill for most of it.
I was breathing hard and knew I needed to slow down. And the middle finger on my right hand was starting to go numb. It was 30 degrees, windy, and blowing small flakes. I wasn't really in the mood to run and had to keep telling myself "you're a third of the way there!" "Just 25 more minutes!"

I (kind of) sprinted in!
We entered a second neighborhood and I was thirsty. There was a water stop at mile two, but I didn't feel like grabbing anything. I looked at my watch and my second mile must have been around 9 minutes (or over!). Whoops. I kept trucking through the neighborhood, but I would have walked if I didn't keep thinking about Alex having to stand around and wait for me after he finished. It was a very "meh" experience. Perhaps Map My Run or a podcast would have helped.

When we reached the sign for mile 3 my time was around 26:30-something. That was a bit slower than my 5K PR, but faster than most other 5Ks. A bit later I passed a piece of tap stuck to the ground that said "mile 3"... hmmm. When I reached that, my time was closer to 27 or 28 minutes.

The last part of the race was a straightaway down Liberty Street. I've come to realize I prefer straightaways. I like being able to see where I'm going; even if it feels like forever away. Plus. I don't have to worry whether I'm cutting corners or running too wide. Anyway, this part was a good downhill for a while, then a slight uphill to the finish. When I turned the corner to head to the finish there was a girl bent over spitting (or more). Yikes. But guess what? As soon as I started to kick up my pace to run in, she sprinted past me. Guess she wasn't feeling too bad!

Posing with our beer and magnet medals!
Finish and reflections
Anywho, after the race I recovered quickly. Alex was pretty sore and cold, but had only finished 8 or so minutes before me. He got third in his age group, of course. BUT he did finish 31st if that's any indication of how fast those teens were! (Also, a female finished second with a 5:40 pace!)

We walked around and collected our goodies (bananas, bagels, juice, water, and beeeeer!). I knew I ran pretty fast, but there were still a lot of people who finished before me. That may have affected my overall attitude during the race. Luckily, I must have finished in the sweet spot, because after we posed for photos the beer line was EPIC. So glad we dodged that!

Overall, I would do this race again. I think I'd opt for something else if they didn't have beer next year. Did I mention the shirts are suuuuuuper soft? They are also a bit snug. I wasn't expecting a fitted tee, but luckily the small still fit (it is pretty tight, but not vulgar).

Other swag; coupons, samples, shirt
My Stats
I didn't feel as fantastic about this race as I've been feeling since Maria's Miles. No runner's high, but I did PR for a four mile run. After I mapped the course, my pace was 8:55/mile. Of course, my map said 4.1 miles and the race officials used 4 as the distance, so my online time was 9:04/mile. Hmph. I need to work on knocking about 10 more seconds off my time so that my official times are closer to correct!

Final time36:17
My previous 4 miler time was 38:01 at the 2013 OSU 4 Miler. 

Overall: 156 / 467  (33%)
Females:  57 / 263 (21%)
Age Group: 18 / 72  (25%)

Up next: The Santa Race 5k in Gahanna on December 6. We will probably do the First on the First 5k since it was so fun, but we've been lazy and have yet to sign up.

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