Monday, November 28, 2011

New thing #7: Turkey Trot

I love family holidays. There is a big age gap between my older siblings and me, so for many years it was just my parents and me day after day. Family holidays meant that everyone came home, and for a few sweet hours the house was full of life. Later when I met my in-laws, family holidays meant tables loaded with food zig-zagging through the house, and as many kids as there were adults. And when I had my own family, one holiday was extra special - my first child was born early on Thanksgiving morning. But as the family grows and moves away and the children start their own lives, sometimes the holidays seem like any other day. So in order to make this Thanksgiving Day unique, I ran in my first Turkey Trot 5K Race. In Detroit. In NOVEMBER. In a city where it often snows before Halloween!

Boy did we get lucky. It was a mild day, chilly but dry. I think the thermometer in the car said 36 degrees. Approximately 21,000 people had signed up for the three different races going on that morning, so traffic was a nightmare. Kim, Senior and I sat on the highway for an hour and twenty minutes just trying to get downtown. Luckily we found a parking spot pretty quickly and got to the starting line just as our race was beginning. Since we got there late, we were in the back of the pack, with the people pushing kids in strollers or running with their dog. This meant that our average pace for the first half mile was something more like a shuffle than a Trot. But this didn’t matter because it was so entertaining to see all the people who were running in costume! Yep, the Turkey Trot crowd is a little crazy, and they dress up to run. 

I started out running (shuffling) next to Darth Vadar, complete with light saber. We quickly passed several versions of turkeys and elves, and an entire family covered head to toe in real feathers. At one point I was passed by a 6-foot tall pink pig. But I was most impressed by the guy who ran the entire race with a fully decorated artificial Christmas tree on his shoulders. We all crossed the finish line together, somewhere in the middle of the pack. This was the first time I ran an entire 5K without having to stop and walk for a short while during the race. I felt... accomplished. And hungry! Bring on that turkey dinner.

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