Friday, November 28, 2014

Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot Race Report

So we had some friends that wanted to do a race on Thanksgiving.  I don't recall if I've ever done a race on Thanksgiving or not, though they are wildly popular.  I wasn't really that interested in it until I found out that there was an 8K in addition to the 5K.  I hadn't run an 8K in a really, really long time, so that sounded fun.
We pulled into SouthPark mall at around 7:20, but even then the parking seemed to be pretty full.  They had 3,500 for the 8K and 4,000 for the 5K, so it was a pretty good sized race.  I guess the parking decks could have been empty, but we didn't venture in there.
We made our way over to the center of all the activities.  We waited around for a little bit and met up with some of the Fort Mill Fast Feet People.  Then we moseyed on over to the start.  It was pretty cool with the wind.  The temp was about 41 degrees, but with the wind and out of the sun it was downright chilly.  I was going to run in just my Big Sexy Racing singlet, but decided to wear my singlet over my t-shirt.
The Crew
We got to the start line and the girls headed toward the back, and I headed toward the front.  The kids were running the 5K which started in a different spot.  There were no prerace announcements and I was wondering if the start was going to be delayed.  But then the gun went off and people started moving.  I started my watch when I went across the start line.

Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten close enough to the start line.  I had wanted to average 6:30's in this race given my severe lack of training and taking the entire month of October off.  But through the first half mile I was at a 7:24 pace because of all the people.  I finally found some sidewalk and curb to run on, but even then my first mile was a 6:49.

So then a little ticked, I took off in the second mile that was mostly downhill.  I split a 6:08 so that put me right back on my sub 6:30 pace.  The next couple of miles, I tried to hold the pace, but my lack of run training was pretty evident.  I split 6:39 and 6:34, so at the 4 mile mark I was at a 6:32 average.

I tried to make up some time on the downhill in the last mile.  There was this lady with a tutu running about 10 seconds ahead of me.  I told myself I had to beat her, so I pushed through to the finish ahead of her.

I stopped my Garmin at the finish at 31:51 for a 6:27 average.  I averaged a 6:07 for the last section after the 4 mile mark.   Full results here, but they go by gun time, not chip time so I was 32:10 there.  Not sure why that is, but glad it wasn't an issue for me as I wasn't close to any sort of placing. I was 8th of 209 in the age group and 86th of 3,452 overall.

I wondered over to get some food and water.  They had bananas and (kinda hard) granola bars.  They also had Propel which I had never heard of before, so I guess give them some points for getting their name out and getting noticed.

The medal was actually kinda nice.  I'm not really into medals, but it was nice to get a medal.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because I associate medals with bigger races.  So then I went back to the final stretch to see my wife finish.

Having a good time
She had an incredible race.  She was glad to get back on track after some GI issues at Rock n Roll Savannah Half.  It took a while, but I finally found her after she got her medal.
Lots o' People
So all in all a pretty fun race.  Tons of people made the start a little hairy, but that made the rest of the race pretty fun.  It was a little chilly, but the sun was bright and it warmed up quickly. 
Obligatory Finish Pic
The parking was easy out, so we got home quickly.  A medal and a long sleeve T-shirt is kind of a bonus for an 8K race (not that it was the cheapest race).  So definitely a good time.  Maybe we'll be back next year, but if not, we'll definitely be doing another Turkey Trot somewhere.
Fun Shirt