56. Shandon Turkey Trot, 2010

Distance: 8K
Cara and I at the Shandon Turkey Trot.

How’s this for awesome? Not only was this race just a few blocks from the apartment, but Cara pre-registered before I did! It was her first 8K ever! After the Governor’s Cup 4-mile walk, she told me she wanted to do another event. I was a little skeptical when she mentioned an 8K, but she didn’t want to do the 4K event. She wanted to go for the longer distance.

About the Course

The event was being held at Hand Middle school. That’s about a half-mile from our apartment, so we just walked there. I had picked up our packets ahead of time, but this is a small race with limited equipment so didn’t get the chips. Those had to be picked up on-site and returned at the Finish Line.

The course itself was a simple loop around the neighborhood. Do it once for the 4K and twice for the 8K. There were some gentle hills, but nothing like downtown. (Certainly nothing like Vermont!)

The Race Itself

For a few seconds I stuck with Cara, but she insisted that I run ahead. The sun was shining through the trees, providing just the right kind of light for a morning run. It was beautiful, to say the least. But again, it was just a simple course through residential streets. We saw houses, trees, a few cop cars blocking traffic, a couple of small water tables and a few spectators.

The only noteworthy event during the race was the guy I wound up running with. His name is Chris, and you can see him in the gallery below. He has trouble holding a steady pace sometimes, and I sometimes need a gentle push to pick up my pace. It worked out really well for both of us. I ran with him for miles 2 through 4, until I eventually let him go ahead. In the end, we both cut down our times because of the other guy. I love it when that happens!

Trouble with the Chips

After I finished, I just stood at the Finish Line and took some pictures while I waited for Cara. That’s when I noticed something funny. Sometimes a few people would come in as a group, and somebody would run off to the right of the sensor mats. They had to be called back to put their feet on the mats so that their chip time could be recorded. But other times, people would run across correctly and they still wouldn’t register. They also had to be called back to put their feet on the mats.

My best guess at an explanation would be the size of the race, and the fact that the chips had to be returned. This is a small operation, and they’re going to recycle these chips until they just stop working. Normally I would find that unacceptable, but this is just a little neighborhood race. That equipment is expensive, and they’re doing what they can. All we can do is hope that they bring in enough revenue to buy some better equipment.

Cara’s Big Finish

Cara did the Governor’s Cup with me, but not as a runner. She was a walker in that race. This is the first time we’ve actually run an event together. She finished with a time of 52:45, with an average mile pace of 10:37. I even got her on video! Please pardon how blurry it is… I managed to get sweat on the lens and I wasn’t able to clean it properly before she got to the Finish Line.

Final Thoughts

Nice, fun local race. $30 was a little steep for something that small, but it’s a standard price these days and I understand that these events are expensive to set up. And besides… I like the shirt.   🙂