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AG Win at Ridge Runners Turkey Trot 10K

11-18-2013 Turkey Trot Cotton Mill
Misty, damp, perfectly cool race morning. 
All photos except the selfie by
Marco Demartin.

I was too slow getting my coffee on Sunday morning to make the trail run I'd intended to do. So I decided to tag along with Hubz and run the neighborhood Turkey Trot 10K instead.

We showed up, paid our money and pinned on our numbers. I love that races still exist where you can sign up an hour before the start.

The place was hopping. Upbeat music blared and a good sized crowd had gathered. Hubz caught up with many of his old road running buddies, and the ThuGs (Thursday Gold's Gym group) were out in force.

ThuGs selfie
ThuG selfie, pre-race

Ed Walsh and Dave Woll showed up after running Stone Mill 50 Miler the day before. Ed and his wife Sandy were there to cheer and Dave was crazy enough to run. It was officially a party!


I had chosen my Salomon Sense Mantras for this race. They're not a 'minimalist' shoe but they're pretty lightweight at 9.2 ounces. I really like the feel. They have a 6mm heel-toe drop that strikes exactly the right balance for me whether I'm running on pavement or on trails. 

I guess I need to state for the record that someone from Salomon sent me these shoes to try, free of charge. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review in the near future.

We started off near the rear (no need to elbow your way to the front when there's chip timing) and immediately began to climb a big hill. Flat and fast, this course is not. 


The ThuGs pulled away from me early and I focused on keeping them in sight. I knew I had to catch Dave or I'd never live it down.

11-18-2013 Dave
Dave, feeling yesterday's 50 Miler a little.
I focused on holding what I judged to be an honest race pace. I hadn't brought a watch so I ran solely on feel. I reeled Dave in around 2 miles, and kept chugging away. Typical of a road race, lots of runners had started off a little too fast and it was easy to spot those who were beginning to tire. Quickly, they came back to me. 

11-18-2013 Tom
Hubz, with his game face

There were lots of long, mostly gentle inclines and declines along the route and very little true flats. I concentrated on my form and hoped that I was dropping the pace as I was intending. 

I saw Hubz and he seemed to be running well. I cheered him on and kicked it up another notch, another long, gentle incline, now a shorter one, then a steeper downhill all the way into the finish, my form going all to hell on the decline as I tried in vain to catch the guy ahead of me.

11-17-2013 Ridge Runners Turkey Trot Finish Photo TC

11-17-2013 Ridge Runners Turkey Trot Finish Photo K


We jogged to our car to put on warm clothes for standing around. When we returned, Dave congratulated us on winning our age groups. Sweet! I think I've "podiumed" exactly twice before in my running career. A win? I was thrilled.


11-17-2013 Ridge Runners Turkey Trot Award Photo
Winning!
I really need to run more of these small, local races. We both had a blast. Huge thanks to the Lake Ridge Runners for this fun, well-organized, challenging and low-key race.




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