Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Baxter Turkey Trot "Race" Report

The 3rd Annual Baxter Turkey Trot takes place in the Baxter Village Community right here in Fort Mill, SC. It's more of a charity "gathering" then a race.  Everyone is encouraged to bring canned goods and clothes to donate in exchange for the race.  Right, there is no entry fee.  It's a free "race".  You get a bib number and they have a course and they tell you when to start.  So, since there is no timing, is it really a race?  I'll leave that up to you.
Race Director and Baxter Activity Coordinator
We parked right next to the Baxter Town Hall and pool.  They said they had 600 people signed up, but I believe that most people walked from their houses.  They had a 1 mile run/walk, and a trail run, in addition to the 3 mile course.  We milled around some.  I didn't even do a warm up.  They made some announcements, and we all mosied on over for the start.
Heel Strike Big or Go Home
We crammed into this side street and started with an immediate right turn down Richard's Crossing.  I run this road all the time, like once or twice a week. We had a guy on a mountain bike escorting the 'leaders'.  My strategy was to just go as fast as I had to to stay with the leaders.  Yes I had a strategy. Yes, it's basically an untimed fun run.  Yes I tried to stay with the leader.  Don't Judge.
The first mile felt a little awkward: a 6:01 with no warmup.  But it was slightly downhill.  They guy in front was talking with the mountain bike escort guy.  I'm sure they knew each other.  The runner had an M-Dot tattoo on his calf.  I saw him prerace with his Ironman Florida paraphernalia on. That was pretty much motivation alone.
I kinda got into a groove in the second mile, and it wasn't so bad. It felt like the 2nd half of that mile was downhill.  We came through 2 miles sub 12 minutes. I was a little surprised to be within a few yards of the leader.  But soon after the 2M mark, we hit a hill to start climbing back toward the finish.  At this point I thought, well here is where he's gonna drop me.  I tried to hang tough, and he really wasn't pulling away much.  We slowed on that last mile quite a bit.
Coming to the final stretch
We kept coming up the hill and he just wasn't pulling away from me.  We came around the curve close to where the finish was.  I wasn't sure if we were going to make a turn and loop toward the finish, because we were only 2.7 miles in.  I got right up on the tattoo's guy hip and the bike didn't make a turn.  We headed straight for the finish.  So with like 10 yards to go I strode past him and crossed the finish line first. 

Making 'The Move'
I only had 2.88 miles on my watch, but that was it.  What do you want for a fun run?  I walked for a little bit and then started heading back down the course to see my wife coming up.
She's was having a great race and needed some cheering going up that last hill.  She looked good and would have had a 5K PR had the race actually been a 5K.
Wife finishing
The Three of Us are at a Lot of Races Together
Afterwards, we got some water and talked.  It was a really nice morning, so we just enjoyed it.  Soon it was time to head back to the house and check on the Turkeys.  We had 2 birds going as we were hosting 19 people for Turkey Day.  The Baxter Turkey Trot was a great start to the day.  Gobble Gobble!