two saturdays ago, i did my second turkey trot! i wasn't sure what our thanksgiving day plans were going to be, so i decided to opt for a race the saturday after thanksgiving. packet pick-up was the day before the race, and when i signed up, i didn't think anything of it. it wasn't until the day of that i realized packet pick-up was on black friday in the middle of a shopping district. ummm, no thanks!
instead, i waited until the last five minutes they were open to go get my stuff so i wouldn't have to deal with crowds. everything came in a cute little running tote. instead of a race shirt, we got a fleece hoodie and i looove it. i think my exact words putting it on were "oh my god it's like i'm wearing a blanket!" i've basically been living in it ever since.
stock photo since mine is now covered in cat hair...oops
the race was near roosevelt road in grant park (all of you chicago marathon finishers are familiar with this general area!) and it was a beautiful view on that cloudy morning. there were plenty of porta potties for the runners and i could see that volunteers were already setting up tons of food for the finishers. all good signs of a great race to come! however, the corral area was a different story; there wasn't any kind of seeding and it didn't seem like race directors were giving people any sort of guidance on where they should stand. i saw couples with strollers lined all the way up at the front and i knew this would be a crowded course.
start line views
sure enough, as the race started and we headed to the trail, it was a slug's pace. walkers who had lined up in the middle of the corral were walking three people across from the start, and since we were on the sidewalk, it basically meant there was nowhere to go. i just shuffled along, waiting for breaks between people to open up so i could slip through. in mile 2, the course opened up as we turned on to the trail that runs along lake michigan, so things were a bit faster, but not by much.
mile 3 brought us back near the start line for a loop around the baseball fields. this was crowded again, as they split portions of the sidewalk in half to allow runners to go in different directions. i was sick of shuffling, so i walked the crowded parts, knowing that any time goals i had for this race were kaput after that first mile. finally, the finish line came in to view, i crossed in 39:24, and i received my adorable finisher's medal.
the after race goodies included bananas, cookies, chewy bars, and fruit snacks. and hot apple cider, my favorite! the race directors set the food up in three identical tents with two lines each, so everything moved quickly, which i thought was a really smart idea. everyone was hanging out in the fields, but i decided to head to target and called it a day on the grant park turkey trot.
still loving the medal!
so what did i think of this race? i loved the swag bag and everything that i got as a participant. on that note, i think that the price point ($35) for being a downtown race and all of the things included was amazing. i didn't include any (since there weren't any taken of me haha) but there were photographers on course taking great action shots of the runners. i thought the organization by the directors was great and, for the first time in forever, i didn't have timing issues in a small race, so that gets all of the thumbs up from me. it was a great race! i just really, really wish they would have organized the start a bit better. it would have been perfect, and if they do so next year, i'll definitely be back! but even if they don't, i'll probably still be back with a better self-seeding plan.