The Shandon Turkey Trot is a 4k and 8k run in its 31st year, hosted by the Shandon Neighborhood Association. Pretty flat rectangular course in Shandon, one loop for the 4k and two for the 8k. The 4k is timed but is essentially a fun run – I dont think they award any prizes.
I”ve run the 8k in ’09 and ’11, and despite my loathing of multiple loop courses, I’ve generally done pretty well here, PR’ing both times. The first year I automatically PR’d since it was my first 8k. Last year I had my shoe come untied, and had a lousy race, until about a half mile to go. At that point I blasted out one of the hardest kicks I’ve ever thrown down to narrowly avoid getting Tiggered. I passed her with like 10 meters to go at about mach 5 pace. Yes, I am an ass.
My main motivation for running this race is the awards. Trophies! With all these races giving out bags and certificates and generic medals, dont they know we all want our trophies?? They dont call it paper certificate hunting now, do they? But be forewarned, the top 2 get awesome crazy turkey trophies, 3rd place get some meh little running man. My cherished second place from ’11 has a special place in my awards corner. My then two year old son broke the running man 3rd place from ’09. Oh well, I tried not to be mad at him. Tried.
I should mention my original plan was to spectate this race and take pics, since I had already signed up for the Runway Run (10 am on the same morning). Woke up, got there, and couldnt resist the double dip opportunity (turkey trot at 8 am, runway run at 10). Ran a couple of 1k loops with Poochapalooza champion and expert trophy hunter Geary McAlister, as well as Billy Tisdale. Code was nowhere to be seen, but Drew Williams showed up to wreck any chance I had at the glorious 1st place big turkey trophy. Angel was there to watch, which worked out well since I had left my phone pouch at home. He got some great action pics at the end of this post. Plexico , Aubrey Johnson, Ponamarev, Eddie Vergara, Colleen Vowles, Sarah Blackwell, Gasque, Valerie Selby, the Outlaws , Rocky and Pete Poore were on hand. Several other fastish looking people up front but didnt recognize them.
Not much to say about the race itself. The crowd was mostly casual runners, so the front thinned out immediately. After a quarter mile I settled in and tried not to let Billy gap me any worse than he already had. Drew was not too far ahead of him, and I saw Eddie trying to beat Plex. I didnt see that lasting long, though Eddie is getting faster. About a half mile in, a short Indian guy with near knee high socks comes blasting by me. I thought this dude was either crazy or doing the 4k, but damned if he wasnt kicking my ass and seemingly holding the pace. I passed Aubrey about .75 miles in and wondered if I had gone out in some suicidal pace, but I got back a 6:20 split at the mile. A little speedy but in the ballpark of where I wanted to be. Beyond this point I was completely alone. Cars were being let through the intersections behind me, and the rest of the pack was way ahead. I was slowly making some headway on the guy in front of me, but he looked back a few times and picked up the pace. Didnt see the Garmin split at mile 2, but the clock after loop 1 was about 16:20. Being completely by myself, I was wondering if it was worth it to push the pace given the 5k I was going to do in less than 2 hours. However, the straggler on the pack in front seemed awfully 35-39, so I figured I should at least make him earn that damn turkey. Second loop was pretty steady, a couple more 6:30 something miles. The straggler had now picked up the pace and caught up to another guy, who appeared to be hurting. Indian guy had not only blasted by Billy but had laid waste to Drew as well. Mr. Supratim Das Gupta, I salute you. I was getting closer, but at about a half mile to go, it didnt look good to catch any of them. I was starting to die a bit myself. Maybe it was racing those silly 26.2 miles a week ago. As i neared the last block, I could make out 32:15 or so. Normal blue shoe kicks are ridiculous, but potential PR blue shoe kicks are just ugly. Exhibit A (Feb 2010 first sub 20 5k – actually shares the same finish line as the turkey trot)
I was seized by a jolt of adrenaline, knowing that 32:34 needed to go down. I blasted into some other alternate universe, sucking as much wind as humanly possible, and laying down a patch of sub 4 pace. Hit the finish at 32:28 – a new 8k PR! 9th overall, 2nd in age group. Turns out the two guys in front of me were 31 and 40 – whew! I hung around about 10 minutes to watch the finish and take some pics, but then took off to the airport to run the Runway 5k.
Plex crushed the field in 27:47, followed by Eddie and Bob Sams, whom I’ve seen race before. Gupta finished 4th in just over 31 minutes, so I guess looks can be deceiving (cotton t-shirt and knee high socks??). Drew and Billy finished just behind him in the mid-high 31’s. Sarah and Colleen went 1-2 in the female 35-39, Lisa Smarr, Geary and Cheryl Outlaw all won their age groups, Tommy Outlaw finished 2nd and Valerie Selby and Alex Ponamarev captured 3rd place trophies. Rocky won his age group of one, and then also went to double dip!