Last Thursday, Mike and I completed a 5 mile (8K) Turkey Trot race in his hometown of Fremont, MI. The weather reports leading up to the race were looking quite frightful. Temps in the 20's and snow. NOT what I want to run in. I packed all my warm gear Wednesday night, along with all the usual shower supplies and a change of clothes. I'd need to be de-stinky'd before we headed to Thanksgiving Dinner!
We woke up at the butt-crack of dawn on Thursday to drive the 70 minutes or so to his mom's house, where we deposited the wondertwins. No sense in having 2 tired, grumpy 13 year olds harshing your mellow on race morning. Lucky for us, the temps were warmer than predicted (in the mid to upper 30's) and it wasn't snowing. It was misting rain, though. We weren't really sure where the race was being held, but this being a very tiny town, MIL was able to give us good directions. We made it to Tamarac (a beautiful, new fitness facility) in plenty of time to pick up our race numbers and take care of any lingering bathroom issues. This was Tamarac's first race EVER and the registration area was easy to deal with, they had some water and powerbars out for folks if they wanted, and we were able to wait inside for the race to start. Since is wasn't as cold as we thought it would be, I just wore my new long running pants, a long-sleeve compression mockneck and a One More Mile t-shirt over top. I had on my Bondi band to cover my ears and a running hat. I decided at the last minute to throw a ziplock bag in my pocket, which I used to protect my iPhone during the run. I kept it in my zipped pants pocket.
A few minutes before 9, we headed outside to find the starting line. Across the parking lot, and not very well marked, was literally a line drawn on the pavement. There were less than 400 people participating, so Mike and I lined up in the middle of the pack and waited for them to signal the start. We didn't really hear the start, but rather the people in front of us started moving.
We crossed the starting line and I hit my watch. (There were no timing chips in this race. It was clock timed with a stringer at the end-I'll try to explain later.) The course went through the parking lot of Tamarac and across the north end of town. We ran through a nice park that was much hillier than I'd expected. Thank goodness it didn't snow, because I'm sure it would have been ugly slippery. Mike ran next to me the entire time, looking at me at each mile marked wondering why we weren't taking our usual 1 minute walk breaks. Yeah, I didn't tell him I wasn't planning to walk at all. (I've been having a lot of issues with my left foot and I just wanted this to be over. You can read more about my injury here
. Since I just confessed it all yesterday, I'm not going to do it again.) Mike stayed with me the entire time. I was really proud of him. He's never run farther than 3 miles without walking and he ran the entire 5 miles. Granted, if he'd wanted to, I think he could have beat me because he actually can run A LOT faster than me. In any case, it was nice to run with him. With the finish line in sight, he grabbed my hand (to be sweet or to keep me from passing him?) and we crossed the finish line together. At the finish line, we see my sister-in-law Laura and 5 year old nephew Alex cheering for us. Totally unexpected and very cool.
Here's were things get a little weird. At the end of the finish chute is a girl with a giant safety pin. She asks us, Who finished first? Mike told her we crossed the finish line together. She asks again, Who finished first? Um, what part of "together" do you not understand? I think we pissed her off and she didn't know how to deal with a "tie". She tore the little tab off the bottom of Mike's race bib and then off the bottom of my race bib and strung them on her enormous safety pin. Here's how we finished:
Mike: 52:51.9 (this was also my watch time)
Me: 53:36.0 (WTF? How did I get almost a minute behind him when we finished together?)
Mike finished 12/12 in his age group and I was 8/12 in mine. I was the slowest of the "fast" people. The finisher behind me in my age group was behind me by 20 minutes. Overall, we were 157 and 158 out of 370, so we finished above the 50th percentile. I'm very pleased with that, considering the overall was a mix of men and women!
Needless to say, it was a great way to start out Thanksgiving and I will definitely do it again.