Thanksgiving morning dawned sunny once the sun made its appearance. I live in a valley so even though sunrise may be at 7 AM, the sun may not get over the hill and down where I am until almost 8 AM. I awoke at 6 AM and made my sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner while having my morning coffee. My friend Jennifer should be at my house between 8:15 and 8:20 for the two of us to head to the local Turkey Trot.
Neither of us had registered yet. The cost of registration did not change from pre-registration to day of the race but pre-registered runners and walkers did receive a long sleeve tee shirt. The proceeds from the Turkey Trot go to the Triple Cities Runners’ Club scholarships which are given to graduating seniors who have run track or cross country in their local high schools. I would pay for the race even if I wasn’t running to be sure there was the money for these scholarships.
The race is set to run in Otsiningo Park in Binghamton. This park is part of the Broome County Parks and Recreation Department. There is a series of paved trails in the park that runners will traverse to get in the 8K of the Turkey Trot. Normally, a runner would also get a preview of the local Southern Tier Independence Center’s holiday lights festival. The lights themselves would not be turned on but one would see many of them. Unfortunately, the September flooding of the park has caused STIC to cancel this year’s lights festival due to no electricity in the park.
I wore what I call my “don’t mistake me for a deer” running gear. I live in a rural area. While hunting is not allowed near homes and roads, I still worry about being mistaken for a deer so I dress in such a manner that it would be truly hard to mistake me for any kind of animal. Most would just think I am extremely color blind.
The start was crowded. There is an area towards the north end of the park that use to be a rest area off Interstate 81. There is an actual bathroom there and this is where the race starts. The race does two loops around this building and as those of us at the back of the pack were getting to the turn for the second loop, those who had been in the front of the pack were finishing up the second loop.
Jennifer and I started out together. Our first mile was under a 10 minute mile which is very fast for both of us. I wanted to slow to about a 10:30 pace but kept going with Jennifer for about two miles. I finally told her to keep going and I would either catch up with her or see her at the end. I frequently see this older gentleman running on Hooper or Country Club Roads. Jennifer and I passed him at one point. After Jennifer had gone ahead, he and I would leapfrog each other several times throughout the race. I got a push from a woman that jumped in near the end to help him finish. On top of that, Jennifer came to meet up with me near the end, having already finished herself, and gave me a push to sprint into the finish.
Kudos to Triple Cities Runners’ Club for another wonderful and well-attended local race. Grace Tabeek runs clean races and this was no exception. With the holiday, we all had other things to do but made it a priority to stay healthy by working off some calories before eating some.
Photo credits: Top photo – Arianna Young, Bottom photo – Grace Tabeek