Yet another humid fall morning greeted us on Thanksgiving as we made our way downtown for the 21st Annual Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot. Brad and I have ran this race together every year since I moved to Austin.
Last year’s race was fairly unorganized so I was pleasantly surprised to see actual corrals this year. In a race with 19,000 runners and 5-mile timed/5-mile untimed/1-mile walk options, corrals are definitely necessary.
The timed runners pay a slightly higher registration fee than untimed, so their corrals were first and are organized by pace. Directly behind them are the untimed runners, also organized by pace. The walkers line up behind the untimed runners, and start 15 minutes after the runners to eliminate congestion.
We had the blue bibs for timed runners
so we made our way to the 10 to 11 min. mile corral up front on the S. First Street bridge.
It wasn’t long before thousands of runners were lined up behind us
Shortly after the singing of the National Anthem, runners took to the streets of Austin.
Race organizers changed up the route this year, and decided it would be a fun idea to incorporate a few hills right in the beginning.
We ran north on Lavaca, and then made a left onto 15th Street, also known as Enfield.
If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few months, you may recognize Enfield from my Austin 1/2 Marathon race recap.
This monstrosity came around mile 11-12 of the half marathon:
While we didn’t have to run up that particular hill during the Turkey Trot, we did have to run up a different one to get to the top, and then try not to fall on our faces as we came flying down the other side. Immediately after we hit the bottom we went right back up another hill, climbing steadily for half a mile.
I’ll be incorporating some serious hill training for Austin 2012 so it doesn’t kick my ass like 2011’s race.
Just after mile 2, Brad grabbed my arm and told me to continue on without him. The hills had done a number on his quads/knees and didn’t want to hold me back from finishing fast. As he slowed to a walk, I slowed right down with him.
I wasn’t about to finish the race solo; this was our annual tradition! He committed to running the downhills and straightaways as long as we could walk the uphills. I happily agreed. Brad isn’t a runner so I was thankful he was even keeping up with me to begin with.
So we ran here:
and walked here:
and ran here:
You get the idea.
The great thing about the Turkey Trot is it doesn’t start until 9:30am so there’s no need to wake up at the crack of dawn. The bad thing is, the sun is already up and out in full force by the time you cross the starting mat. It was now after 10am and you can see in this skyline photo that the humidity was still thick.
We each ran with a water bottle filled with Nuun so we didn’t need to deal with the overcrowded water stops. Although, they appeared to be pretty efficient and well-stocked.
The back half of the race was pretty much the same as last year’s, heading east on Cesar Chavez…
…back over the South First Street bridge…
…and finishing on Riverside Drive across from the Palmer Event Center.
After crossing the finish line in 57:06, we grabbed a couple bottles of water and went back to the car. We stretched for 5-10 minutes in the parking lot before heading home to start cooking our Thanksgiving feast..
Another successful Turkey Trot in the books!
Our post-run Thanksgiving Day meals:
Spinach Dip – Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Sausage & Wild Rice –Baked Brie with Blackberry Jam
Oven Roasted Turkey – Mascarpone & Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Baked Sweet Potatoes – Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffing – Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream