Thanksgiving Day Cross Country Classic 5K 
Thursday, November 27, 2008, 11:28 PM
Posted by Administrator
Having done this race five times previously, it has become something of a Thanksgiving tradition. However, Paul and I were tempted to break tradition today due to the large volume of water falling from the sky - not an issue we often face in the desert. If we had registered on our own, we definitely would not have ventured out in that downpour. But, we had registered as part of the Tri Girls teams...and you can't let your team down! As Paul remarked while driving through monsoon-type rains on the way to the race, "If it wasn't for the Tri Girls, we'd still be spooning." He wasn't too jazzed about the race at that point.

By the time we entered Reid Park,the rain had turned into a light drizzle...and then stopped altogether shortly before the race began. The running gods were smiling down on us! We were amazed at how many people had actually braved the rain and cold for this event. (For the New Englanders who are was in the low 50's - and that's pretty cold when you're also wet!)

Decked out in many layers, including a raincoat and rain pants, I found the Tri Girls and picked up the cool schwag that Holly had gotten for our HUGE team - awesome TTG backpacks and cute tees. Holly is the best! It was fantastic having so many Tri Girls at the event - the support and camaraderie of this group is amazing.

The men's race was first and so I stationed myself at the water pit area to cheer them on and take some photos. Here's Chris taking on the water pits:

And Tri Guy Kyle:

Paul took it easy, but still had a great race, finishing in 21:41.

As the women's race got closer, I warmed up by jogging to the car, shedding some layers, and jogging back to the starting line. (That's me in the white hat, purple top, black shorts.)

With the marathon less than two weeks behind me, the only goal I had set was to have fun and not push it. However, once we started running, I added a second goal of staying upright. It was a mud pit out there and it was slippery! We actually had three substantial water crossings - not counting the intentional water pits. Amazing enough, two of these water crossings has not existed during the men's race. By the time the women ran, the water run-off from God-knows-where had created a few small rushing rivers on the course. It was a bit of a surprise, but there was a fun, relaxed atmosphere in the pack. For the most part, everyone seemed to enjoy jumping in the puddles and playing in the mud.

My finishing time was 32:08 - my slowest for this course, but only by 2 seconds. I was actually quite happy with my run considering that I'm still recovering and I just cruised along at a comfortable pace. And, while there were a few dicey moments in the mud and I just barely made the jump at the last water pit, I managed to stay on two feet. What more could I ask for?

After the race, we hung out for a while, chatting with the Tri Girls and trail runners and other friends. With my real family so far away, it's wonderful to start off the holiday with my "running family." By the time we headed back to the car, Paul and I were both so happy that we had stuck to the tradition. At this point, I can't imagine starting a Thanksgiving Day without a Turkey Trot!
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