Monday, November 8, 2010

Salem Turkey Trot 3-Miler

Saturday, I stayed VERY local and did the 9th Annual Barron School Turkey Trot here in Salem, NH.  The race was literally 3 streets down from my house here in Salem.  The race is VERY low key... in fact, it was probably the most low key event I've done, but it didn't quite have the smallest field I've ever run in (that honor goes to the Feelgood Farm Snowshoe Race in 2009 with 12 finishers).  There was no official timing/scoring company and the organizers just did (or attempted to do) the scoring / timing on their own, the old fashioned way.  That was fine, as I am not feeling quite in top form and it was so local, it didn't matter.  My parents were down visiting and wanted to see me do a race, so I decided at zero hour to go over.  I also convinced Kristin to come with me and 'race' it.  She was a good sport about it, even though she doesn't run and it was a little on the chilly side.

The race went off and I was out like normal with not many other folks around.  There were no mile markers, but the course was a legitimate 3 miles (  I overheard someone say before the race, that the course was 2.8 previously, so they had to lengthen it after remeasuring, to make it 3 miles for this year.  After I ran it before the race as a warmup, I knew it was an honest 3.

Because there were no mile markers, I really didn't have any idea how I was doing, but felt alright.  I was pushing it hard, but because there was nobody around me except for the lead police truck the whole time, I felt a tad flat.  It's hard to get going and keep momentum when there is nobody around you to push in that middle mile.  The first mile is flat for a bit, then drops down (as much as any place in Salem can drop).  The middle mile is flat, and then the last mile has the uphill bit to the finish. The course is all in nice neighborhoods that I never knew were even down there.   If anything, it was nice to be able to run in a section of town I've never seen.

As I was on the way back (it's an out and back), I saw Kristin right before the 1 mile mark (after looking at the map).  She was walking at that point, but still with a bunch of people.  I gave her a high five as I passed and kept pluggin.  I cruised up the hill and onto the last flat bit before the finish and kept thinking about sub 15.  My father had asked me before the race if I was going to break 15.  I laughed and said 'probably 16'.  Well, it was close and I kind of misjudged how much was left and was sure I was going to just nip 15...but as I got closer and closer to the finish, I knew that was no longer a possibility.  I came through in 15:09 (5:03 pace) and was satisfied with that, all things considered.

I immediately turned and went back to do one more pass on the course and then pick up Kristin.  I ran back down against the field of runners and walkers and saw her on my way out.  She was deflated and a little upset that she hadn't been able to keep up a run.  The cold air was killing her throat and because she usually doesn't run (especially in the fall and winter), she wasn't used to it.  She's got breathing issues anyways and this wasn't helping.  She was just walking at that point, as I went further out and ran the course.  I passed by her again on the way back and told her I was going to finish the cooldown and be back.  I ran back up, finished a third lap around the course, and turned one last time to go back and get her.  I ran back and walked in the last half mile or so with her.  She had taken her number off and put it in her pocket.  She had no interest in being scored or being in the results.  I made her go across the line, but unfortunately everyone that was doing official scoring and timing had already gone inside.  There were still a lot of people at the finish area, just nobody scoring.  I think if Kris had kept her number on her shirt, they would have known there was one more person out there to be scored (because they weren't scoring the walkers and the walkers didn't have numbers).

We made our way inside for the awards.  I got a handmade wooden dog paw medal (made by a Barron School student) and a turkey for the win.  There apparently was a mix up with the scoring and timing for everyone else as well and I was notified by email that they are unfortunately not going to be able to post results except for the winners.  They are planning a bigger event next year for the 10th annual, but I am not planning on being in the area by this time next year (fingers crossed) so I may not be around for it.  It was fun in any event, having my parents there and having Kristin in the race, even if it didn't exactly go well for her (or as well as she expected).  She keeps talking about the 'John Carson 2 Miler' in Chelmsford on the 4th.  She said she can do that one.  I think that's because it's ONLY 2 miles and it's in July :).

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