Race Recap · Running in Anchorage

Race Recap: Skinny Raven Turkey Trot

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and enjoyed your long weekend.  I had a blast making my Christmas list, online Black Friday shopping, and baking up a storm while the snow fell outside!  That’s right, we FINALLY got snow!  More on that later.  For now, it’s time to recap my very first Turkey Trot in Alaska!

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On Thanksgiving morning Andrew and I had the chance to sleep in a bit because the race wasn’t until 11:00 am.  The sun doesn’t begin to shine through our windows until about 10:30 (and if it’s cloudy it doesn’t shine at all) so it’s really easy to sleep super late on days that we don’t have work.  We set our alarms for 9:00 and woke up in the dark so we could start preparing a few things for our Thanksgiving dinner!  As always, I ate a pre-race breakfast of oatmeal.  In Anchorage there is only one Turkey Trot, and it’s put on by Skinny Raven which is the awesome running store here.  Back in Philly I feel like I had tons of Turkey Trots to choose from (and ran a different one every year!) so it was nice having only one choice and knowing that it was going to be awesome.  It was around 20 degrees outside so I wore my fleece tights, a tank top with a fleece half zip over it, and a fleece ear warmer.  I also wore my trail scarf to help stay warm while waiting for the race to start, although I took it off my face once we got moving!

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There were a few thousand people running the race, which had a 5k and a 3k option.  The race started right outside the Dena’ina Convention Center so we could wait inside until a few minutes before the race started.  It also ended inside which was awesome since it was so chilly outside!  At 11:00 us 5k runners were off.  I seriously love Turkey Trots – I feel like they’re such low pressure races and are focused more on fun than on being intense.  Plus I can think about food the whole time!  I spent most of the race listing to funny conversations going on around me, most of which were about food.  It seemed like everyone was running with friends or family and I’m going to try to get Andrew to do it with me next year!

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Although the race was timed, I didn’t really go crazy with this race.  I didn’t wear my Garmin or record my time at all, and just ran at a pace that was comfortable and pushed it whenever I felt good.  It was by far my most slippery race ever with all the random ice on the roads, and I was so glad I wore my studded shoes!  As for the course, most of the race was flat and looped around the Delaney Park Strip downtown.  At one point we were near the coastal trail and I could see the inlet and the huge mountains across the water.  It was a really fun race and seemed to go by quickly.  There weren’t many spectators, and there were no water stops (can you even have those if it’s below freezing?) but the support between runners was awesome.  I made sure to thank each police officer that was blocking the road for us, and also made sure to tell runners behind me when I hit super slippery spots.  One thing that initially frustrated me about this race was that the 3k runners met up with us near the halfway point, and they were mostly parents with their very young children (many under 10 years old).  This meant that there were little kids all over the course sprinting, sliding, stopping, and crying randomly, and I spent a lot of time weaving my way around families and strollers.  But in the spirit of Thanksgiving (and not caring about my race time) I tried to not let it bother me that there was literally no race etiquette going on and instead tried to enjoy running with so many little runners-in-training!  By mile 3 most children were crying though, and I felt really bad for them because even though they were only in mile 2, it must have seemed long.  When I was nearing the finish line I passed a little boy who was crying and begging his mom to let it be over.  I could hear that she was trying her best to cheerfully keep him going, so I told him he was doing a great job and that we were almost done!  He stopped crying for a bit and his mom looked pretty happy at that point!  And I was so happy to be sprinting my way into the Dena’ina Center and toward my turkey dinner at home!  Although it was my slowest 5k ever, I felt awesome and thought I did pretty good considering the road conditions, the poor race etiquette of the other runners, and the crowded course.  My pace was 11:20 which is faster than most icy runs I did last year, so I’m excited to see how much I improve by the spring!

IMG_3498Super blurry shot that Andrew took by the finish line!  Notice my hilarious attempts at waving at him while not tripping on the carpet 

Post-race refreshments were basically nonexistent – we had to stumble through a huge crowd to find coolers of water in the corner that we used to fill our own cups, and there was no food.  I guess they figured we were going home to eat a lot anyways, but it was 11;30 and I had barely eaten all day!  We left pretty soon after I finished and went home for a hot shower and the yummiest cinnamon rolls ever.  Oh, and a big win over Dallas!  #FlyEaglesFly

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The rest of my day was spent baking my very first cheesecake, slow cooking a turkey (seriously, best way to cook one!), and using my Kitchen Aid mixer for the very first time to make yummy mashed potatoes.  And of course I had the chance to Skype my parents and my dog, who totally responded to my commands over Skype.  I miss her!  Overall it was an awesome Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to do it all next year!

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Did you run a Turkey Trot this year?  What did you eat after the race?

23 thoughts on “Race Recap: Skinny Raven Turkey Trot

  1. What a fun day! I love a good Turkey trot. I didn’t run one this year becausewe chose to head into center city and watch the parade. It was so much fun to see all the families and different people gathered to watch. Jon and I walked the entire parade route so by the time we got home I was tired! We made our first ever full Thanksgiving meal this year and it turned out great!

    1. Oh that’s awesome! My dad used to take my sister and I to that parade every year when we were kids. My mom would stay home and cook, and by the time we were home it was time for turkey! Have you been to the Mummer’s parade yet? It’s kind of like mardi gras mixed with a lot of Philly pride! Congrats on your first year cooking, glad it worked out!

  2. Your feast looks great – especially those cinnamon rolls! Great job considering the conditions of the race! PS – I feel bad for the Turkey on your race shirt.. running from the ax!

  3. Last winter some friends and I ran a race in 7 degrees and yes… The water stops were struggling with frozen cups! It was only a 5k so we lived without water. We just wanted to be done! Great job on your race, I imagine ice running takes practice!

    1. I can imagine that would be rough! Yeah I didn’t miss the water this time, but I’m glad it wasn’t a longer race! I guess I won’t be able to carry any water with me on my outdoor long runs until the spring 😦

  4. That sounds like a tough race with the cold, ice and lack of race etiquette. I feel bad for the crying kids 😦 But your Thanksgiving meal sounds amazing! I’ve never done a turkey trot because we’re always traveling and the logistics haven’t seemed to work out but hopefully one year.

  5. I didn’t run a turkey trot but a 5k on Saturday. I ate a peanut butter waffle after. I think I’d rather have those cinnamon rolls! I have run a half where the water was freezing in the cups. Great job!

    1. Haha that waffle sounds awesome! And yeah I can imagine that a winter race here in Alaska would have the same results. That would make me really upset during a half marathon though!

  6. I ran the Skinny Raven Turkey Trot as well, and I did not even notice meeting up with the 3K course! I must have been in la la land thinking about food! I do wish at “fun run” type races they would ask walkers to line up at the back and stay to the right. I was weaving through soooo many walkers for probably the first mile, and I wasn’t even halfway back! It was my first Anchorage Turkey Trot as well, and I thought it was super fun!

    1. What! No way! We should definitely see if we’re running any races together in the future. I’m thinking you may be a bit faster than me and missed the start of the 3k (I think I got there right when people were meeting up with us!) because it was very noticeable. Like a sea of children and strollers. But yes, there was so much weaving! Still fun though 🙂

  7. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your first Alaskan Turkey Trot! I’d have such mixed feelings over the kids during the race though. It’s awesome to look at it as runners-in-training =) but dang I would be irritated at them joining in mid-race & getting in my way. Way to stay positive & cheer the one kid on at the end 🙂
    I did my first Turkey Tro this year- it was great, especially since my brother joined me for it! I’m glad our post race spread had more food than yours though- I made a beeline for the bananas as soon as I was done.

    1. Yeah it was tough – I wanted to be nice and supportive but I was definitely frustrated. One lady had a pack of like 5 children (probably not all hers because they were the same age) but they were sprinting and then sliding down the street and having a great time. Meanwhile all the runners were stressed trying not to run into them! Congrats on your first Turkey Trot! I’m jealous you had food at the end!

    1. I got it for my bridal shower present last year and haven’t used it until now! My last apartment was super small and we just moved into this one where we finally have the counter space to use it. I’m in love and it’s now proudly on top of my refrigerator! And yes, you should do a turkey trot! It helps justify that extra serving of mashed potatoes 🙂

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