November 28, 2013
Back to Piedmont for my hometown Turkey Trot. The race has only been around for the last several years and does not date back to when I lived here. It ran by my childhood home, which my parents sold back in 2005. =(
The race has always been pretty small and a 3M course. When I was in middle school, it was a 5K course called The Feet Meet. In my family, this course is known as “the route,” because it is what my parents walk for exercise when they are in California, and is a scenic 5K around Piedmont. I almost used this course probably 30 years ago when I wanted to stage my own Ironman Triathlon (500 laps in our pool, 37 loops of “the route” on my bike, and 9 loops on foot) – I was not a runner at this point, but I thought it would be a good challenge… that would probably take me an entire summer.
The course is slightly different this year… I think, hence, why it is a 5K and not a 3-miler. They have also put in reasonable age groups… since last time Mom and Dad “competed,” the top age group was 50+, which is hardly fair to people 60+… just like I don’t want to compete with high schoolers!
In the actual race, I did my best to run nearly all of the course. The hardest part is the run up Wildwood Avenue. It is not super steep, but is significantly uphill and goes for about 5 sucky blocks. Then, normally, the course turns onto Crocker and continues straight for a 1/4 mile, but to add the extra tenth, we turn and go around a long block back to Crocker, which heads downhill (basically negating the uphill from before) to Saint James.
Saint James is another street with a slight uphill, which gets steeper and steeper before culminating in an extremely steep (but short) section up Hampton… but today, we turn a long block sooner (still uphill, but not steep) and connect to Hampton sooner.
Finally, there is the long slog up Seaview. Again, with the continuous uphill for a half-mile, and then mostly downhill to the finish.
One part that I am used to is crossing over Highland Avenue, going about a block, and shooting straight into the high school driveway and finishing. This year, we go THREE blocks (!) to Hillside, and that ends up with an UPHILL finish.
The race was super crowded and I did walk a little… but I am pretty good at maximizing my speed while walking and then being able to run faster when I am running… so I did do 24:43 (officially) which is right around 8:00/mile… but that was only good enough for 35th place in the 40-49 division.
Afterwards, I went back out on the course to try and find my parents and sister… and ended up walking and talking with a bunch of people I had not seen in a while, including a bearded Josh Eichhorn (Class of ’91) and his sister Rebecca (Class of ’88). He was only just ahead of my family, so I wouldn’t exactly call him a runner.
Mom, Dad and Marisa came in around 50 minutes… and Mom & Dad ended up in the Pewter division (aka 4th), which resulted in no special prizes… except our own special prize of spending Thanksgiving together as a family.