What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. - John L. Parker

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Race Recaps: Cleveland Turkey Trot and Pigskin Classic

Another Thanksgiving another Turkey Trot...  This was my 12th time running this race and at this point it's hard to remember celebrating Thanksgiving without waking up early to run 5 miles in the cold.  This year's race was definitely a throwback to Turkey Trots of old as it was a brutal battle against the elements.  For the past few years we'd had remarkably good weather on Thanksgiving but all good things must come to an end.  At first I wasn't too worried about the weather; the forecast called for mid 20's but it seemed like it would be dry and there wouldn't be too much wind.  Cold, wet, and windy is the trifecta of bad running weather but as long as you only have to deal with one of them it isn't too bad.  Unfortunately, about a half hour before race time it started snowing.  So much for dry weather.
I'm just barely visible on the left edge of the picture (orange singlet).
You can see a thin layer of snow forming on the ground.
When the race started it was immediately clear that this was going to be a slow race.  The footing was terrible.  I could feel my feet slipping with every step.  My goal originally was to break 29, but after one mile I decided that sub 30 was a more realistic goal.  Most of the race was spent hunting for black asphalt to run on.  I finished remarkably strong (5:41 last mile) for a time of 29:35, 32nd overall and 4th in my age group.  So I was a minute slower than last year, but this course was probably at least a minute slow.  I actually placed a little higher this year (32nd vs 37th).  After the race I saw Evan who ran an awesome 27:37!  It was great to finally meet him in person.  I then went back along the course to cheer for Katie.  She finished in 41:05, crushing her time from last year despite the weather!

Just two days later I ran the Pigskin Classic 5k.  I wasn't originally planning to run this race but our normal family gathering for the Saturday after Thanksgiving had to be postponed so I decided to register.  The weather was a lot better for this one.  It was about 5 degrees warmer, but more importantly it was dry.
The weather was a lot nicer for this race
Similar to the Turkey Trot course, this one started by going done the W 3rd hill past the stadium.  After the first mile the leader was well ahead and I was battling with one other guy for second.  After we passed the mile mark I put on a burst and to get some separation.  From there I was basically running by myself for the whole race as I had no chance of catching the leader.  I finished in 17:29, 2nd overall.  A decent time considering I was still pretty sore from the Turkey Trot.
A very unexciting finish
Next week will be the Reindeer Run, then two weeks of rest, and then I begin training for the Cleveland 10k!


  1. That weather was no joke on Thursday. I could not keep my footing at all!

  2. that's awesome you've run it 12x! This year was my first. Still fun albeit the conditions!