Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Race Recap: Oshkosh Turkey Trot

This past weekend, I traveled back to the homeland (aka Wisconsin) for Thanksgiving. The hubby likes to sit in the woods sleeping deer hunt and I certainly love time with my parents. I had noticed in past years that Festival Foods hosts Turkey Trot races throughout the Fox Cities. Once I knew our travel plans were concrete, I registered months ago for the 5 mile race in Oshkosh.

It really was a no brainer... $18 entry fee for 5 miles. I loved the fact that it was longer than a 5K, but there was also the option of a 2 mile run/walk.  This included not only a chip-timed race bib, but also a long sleeve t-shirt and a pumpkin pie at the finish! Considering race prices these days, I thought this was quite the deal.

I showed up Thanksgiving morning in the worst race shape I've ever run in.  I had been sick with the flu for the previous week, and I was still harboring a severe chest congestion. If I was smart, I would have sat this one out. But this tough chik is stubborn as a bull.

It was a chilly 22 degrees when I arrived in Oshkosh. I met up with a friend who scored a parking spot right next to the starting line. We huddled in the car until they played the National Anthem, jumped out, snapped a photo and were running within minutes. It was all way too smooth and convenient...

PreRace Photo: Me, C, Dani and Janet

Staying true to the race name, I trotted down the road... slow and comfortable. I hadn't run in a week so my legs felt fresh and eager, but I knew my chest couldn't keep up. I focused on my breathing, keeping it easy and controlled. The last thing I wanted to do was keel over in this fun run.

The first two miles were a straight stretch down Algoma Blvd through the UW campus. I've run this stretch several times as it is also the start for the Oshkosh Half Marathon. I can't help but be a little nostalgic through this area... I spent a good part of my early 20's here. It seems like so long ago!

We made the first turn in this triangle-shaped route around mile 2. I noticed a group of costumed minions up ahead and set my sights on passing them... gradually. This keeping it "easy" was difficult. By now, I was warmed up and honestly, I felt the best I have all week. My chest seemed to open up as I ran and that was a welcome relief.

As we entered the neighborhoods, runners were shuffled to a coned lane on the side of the road. Because of the fresh snowfall over night, the side of the road was sloppy and a bit slippery. Runners naturally veered to clear road. But there was a cop nazi with a speaker who patrolled the route, constantly telling people "Runners to the right of the cones!" It made me laugh... because on a holiday morning, there was zero traffic.

Finally... I caught the minions!

The finish was rather anti-climatic. I resisted every urge to sprint the finishing stretch. I crossed the finish with a smile as it felt so good to run again. But almost just as immediate as I stopped running, the coughing began.  Oh my goodness, it was like my chest suddenly seized up. The cold air had gotten in my lungs and wasn't doing any good for my already severe congestion. I quickly grabbed my pumpkin pie and headed to the car. For the 25 minute ride home, I warmed my tush on seat warmers and calmed my chest by breathing thru a dry headband.

Official Chip Time 51:26
10:04 average pace for 5.11 miles

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday!
Did you run a turkey day race?


  1. You're making me miss home :) Except for the whole snow thing :) I ran a 5 miler in Miamisburg OH and it was a brisk 19 degrees but no snow!! I set my sights on a 6'5" man wearing a wetsuit, swim cap, goggles, and flippers. I didn't want to get beat by someone who was wearing flippers! I love the 5 miles on Thanksgiving as well.

  2. That really is a good price, especially with long sleeves and a pie.

  3. I've been doing the Festival Foods Turkey Trot in Green Bay for the last four years. Such a fun race! I was totally impressed by the great job they did on the course for our five miles. While the rest of the roads were snow covered and icy, ours were only wet minus a few slippery spots at the intersections!

  4. I often find when I"m running I'm fine, but when I stop the coughing begins. Definitely something going around everywhere. I think its hilarious that the minions ran in overalls and made cardboard heads- way to pass them :)

  5. I'd run for a pie! :)
    I get horrible coughing after a good day in the cold - I can imagine how bad yours was!
    I bet the minions were WARM!!!

  6. What a rough one! I thought we'd have weather like that in glad you didn't slip on any of that ice and snow. I hope you are feeling much better now!

  7. What a great price with great perks! Sounds like you did pretty good given the road conditions and the whole chest business. Great job! :)

  8. The minion are AMAZING! I must be a minion at a future race. And I love your hat.


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