SVXC Turkey Chase 5k Race Report (11/22/18)

SVXC Turkey Chase 5k race report [a short write up for fun, since I usually don’t participate in 5k races. I did PR, unexpectedly!].

The race fee supports the Seneca Valley School District Cross Country program.

Graham Park, Cranberry Twp., PA.

26° F and cloudy.
Black ice.

Out and backs, paved road.
Chase the person dressed as a turkey riding the bike!

Headband; Underarmour; 2015 TC race shirt; leggings; Brooks GTS; North Face gloves.

Award: frozen banana

In the freezing cold, I stood near the front of the herd, surrounded by people of all ages. There were quite a few kids and teens. It was crowded like canned sardines, but helped with staying warm. Some people tried to stretch. I rubbed my quads with my hands to try to create heat. My GPS watch found the satellite and was ready. The RD told everyone to, “take your mark!” Runners took a stance, as if they were going sprint at a pace they would not be able to maintain throughout the race. The horn went off and we began moving.

One runner tripped over their own feet and fell to the pavement. Four more runners tripped over the downed runner and each other. They all scrambled to recover. A little boy face planted amongst the chaos, but recovered well and kept going. I barely missed the train wreck. The field quickly spread out. I passed a few people and a few people passed me. We began finding a groove. Spectators were lining the road and taking pictures and videos of their loved ones using their cell phones. No one was there to watch me, my family (husband’s) were participating.

I liked the way my pace felt, though I had no idea what it was because I run by feel and don’t look at my watch. I was guessing between an 8:30 and 9:00 minute per mile, I don’t know. The pace was on the cusp of slightly uncomfortable, so I decided to maintain that throughout and speed up at the end. My nose was running and I wiped the snot onto my glove. I almost felt warmed up.

I could see the turkey on the bike completing an out and back, followed by the naked lead runners, AKA high school-aged male athletes wearing only shoes, socks, shorts and a winter hat. The turkey and runners began passing by in the opposite direction. I knew the turn around was coming. I briefly saw my husband, who was zipping along ahead of me. I liked having an idea of how close to the front I was. I passed some people at the turn around. A younger person was trying to keep up with me. Shortly after, we passed the 1 mile sign. My sister-in-law, Ruth, who came in from Indiana, was participating. She ran back in high school and continues to love running. I heard Ruth yell for me, but didn’t see her in the crowd.

We ran the road back past where we started the race and I noticed the 2 mile sign. The second mile felt like it went by faster than the first. I noticed Stephen booking it. I leapt over a sheet of black ice. I wondered how many runners would wipe out on it. After making it to the second and final turn around, I noticed Ruth smiling and waving her arms for me. I smiled and waved back, giving a thumbs up. Ruth has a cheerful personality. I was having some fun, but all I could do was count down the kilometers. I ran faster and kept looking for the mile 3 sign. I never saw it. Runners were getting tired, I passed more, thinking I couldn’t have much further to go.

I saw the turkey on his bike and he was yelling to runners to “kick!” I thought, “already?! I could have kicked sooner if I knew that I was this close to the finish!” Stephen was in the grass on the side, he finished a couple minutes ahead of me. He yelled for me to “kick!” I went a hair faster and my eyes saw the timer. I was surprised and immediately filled with joy. I had a huge PR and finished ahead of the 25 minute goal that I had in my head. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. 24:29.15 @ 7:52 min/mi.

It had been an extremely long time since running my last 5k (months or a year?), I didn’t know what to expect. Well, I expected some form of suffering, I felt out of breath from the crummy cold air. I just missed placing in my AG, so no medal to show for the PR. I did grab a nearly frozen banana!!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie afterwards! Hershey, my parents’ Chiweenie, was trying to get it.

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