30 November 2015

race recap: Cleveland Turkey Trot

Ohmygosh, you guys. Tomorrow is DECEMBER. How did 2015 go by so quickly?!

I hope all of my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving, mine started with the 5 mile Turkey Trot in downtown Cleveland. This was my second time running it, the last time was in 2013. They added a 5K option this year which was really nice but I needed to do 5 miles this week for my 10K training but if they have the 5K next year I'll probably opt for that.

This was....not my best race. I'm not even talking in terms of speed -- I finished in 1:25:58 which is a 17:12 average and not too bad considering I had to walk far more than I planned: Wednesday night I was having some weird stomach issues that were still present Thursday morning. I did my RWR intervals for the first two and last mile, but I pretty much walked all of miles 3 and 4 because my stomach just felt all kinds of icky.

Now, I've run lots and lots of races run by the Hermes organization and have always usually had a decent time but man this was not their best showing.

So, as a slow runner I fully understand and support the fact that races need to open roads. Especially in a big downtown city like Cleveland on a holiday like Thanksgiving where lots of people are traveling and coming and going and such. In this case, the website said that the course would be open until 11:30 am. The race was scheduled to start at 9:30 am so for a five mile race that gives you 2 hours which is a fairly decent amount of time, as in you could pretty much walk the entire thing and still finish in time.

Except, see, that only works if the race actually starts when it's supposed to. Instead, this race started  15 minutes late, at 9:45 am. Then because I a) follow the rules of racing and as a slow runner keep myself in the very back and b) because there were, like, 3000 people in attendance, it took me ten minutes to get to the start line. So right there, I lost 30 minutes that I otherwise could have used.

Then, while they said the course would be open until 11:30, what they meant was "If you take that long, there will only be one single, lonely race employee waiting at the finish line."  By the time I crossed the finish line at 11:20 am, it was a ghost town.


No finisher's food, all the stands and stalls had packed up and left. Not only that, there was nobody to direct us that final half mile -- no markers, no escorts. Those of us still finishing -- and trust me, there was a group of about 15 of us -- had absolutely no idea where we were supposed to turn to get to the finish. We had to ask other runners who had already finished to figure out where the route was supposed to go.

Like I said, I totally understand a race needing to open roads by a certain period of time. But if you're going to hold runners to any sort of course time limit then you need to make sure that the race starts on time, because when a race starts late, the only people being punished are the slow runners who need that additional time. Because of the late start and the time it took to get up to the start, before I'd even begun, I'd essentially lost 2 miles that I otherwise could have completed within the time frame.

Saturday is the Christmas Story 10K, the race I've been training for over the past two months and after that I will have officially completed my goal of doing one race per month for all of 2015!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

4 comments:

  1. Wow, it kind of sounds like a mess. Making runners lose 30 minutes really isn't fair, especially when those runners did everything possible to play by the rules. And it sounds like a bunch of you were affected! I hope the Christmas Story race is better orchestrated for you! Come to Cincinnati and run the Queen Bee 1/2 Marathon sometime! You have up to 20-minute miles before they move you to the sidewalk, it always starts on time to the second, and the food booths stick around until NOON (race starts at 7:30am) in a big after-party. Their whole shtick is all about being supportive of runners of all speeds, and it's an all-female race, too.

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  2. I stand corrected- the food and after-party goes until TWO!

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  3. I share in ALL of your opinions on the Turkey Trot - I send them a message on Friday that has yet to be responded to. Hopefully these issues are enough to have them go back to the stand up races they put on in previous years! Way to get out there and finish!!! See ya Saturday at the ACS 10K!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was NOT pleased with the Turkey Trot this year. I'm hoping ACS is a better time -- I did it the first year and had a blast.

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