Sunday, November 25, 2012

Second Helping Challenge Race Recap

On Thanksgiving Mike and I met up with Crystal for a unique running experience: the second helping challenge. You can read her recap, here.

What exactly was the challenge, you ask?

Run the Plymouth Turkey Trot at 7:30am (4.77 miles)
Run the Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K at 9:30am (5K)
Eat a bowl of stuffing

Plymouth Turkey Trot

Mike and I woke up around 5:45am and quickly got ready.  I felt bad leaving Bernie at my grandmother's because he always cries when we leave him alone in a "strange" (aka, not our house) place.  My family told us that he didn't cry/bark too much so that made me feel better.

We got to Plymouth, both of our first times being there, and as we were parking we saw Crystal! We never have to look for her, which is very convenient.  Mike honked the horn at her, which I think scared her a little bit, and we headed over to pick up our race packets.

 Plymouth Rock

 They were really excited about it...

The line was fairly long, and as we approached the front we heard that they had run out of the sweatshirts that were guaranteed to pre-registered second helping challenge participants.  You actually couldn't even register for the challenge the day of the races.  We were told who we could talk to after the second race to arrange getting our sweatshirts and then we quickly dropped our stuff in our car before the start. 

After about 10 minutes past the time that the race was supposed to start, there were a few announcements from the race organizers and then we were off!

Mike took off ahead of us, but Crystal and I stuck around each other at the beginning of the race.  I wasn't quite sure how hard I wanted to push it, especially since we had a 5K less than 2 hours later, but our first mile came in at 8:10. 

While we were running someone said, "look at that view" and Crystal replied, "I do look good!" She is definitely good to have around for her comedic relief.  We started to run along a path and then we got into the portion of the race where I struggled slightly. 

 Yea that's a big hill

Crystal went on ahead of me as we approached the grade 5 incline and I actually slowed down intentionally, just a bit so that I wouldn't completely trash my legs for the 5K.  Even though I don't really think I can use the marathon as an excuse anymore for how I perform during a race, I don't think I have my legs back completely yet.

I was able to push it on the down hills and I caught up to Crystal again, but then there were more hills! Even though the incline wasn't as steep as the previous hill, there were two in a row! The worst part is that you could see the second hill as you were running up and then down the first.

After that there wasn't much left and I worked the downhills again.  As we were approaching the finish line I saw some people who had already finished the race wearing medals and I was intrigued.  I didn't know if we were all getting medals or just them, so I ran harder to find out. 

 We did get medals, for both races!

I saw Mike cheering me on and then Crystal right as I crossed the finish line.  My watch time was 40:05, which would have been my chip time if they actually did that, and my official time was 40:12.  Mike finished in 36:38.

We quickly dropped our stuff off in our car and then boarded the shuttle for the second race.  After sitting around for a little while, we headed out.

Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K

When we got there we saw Crystal's friend, Stephanie, and her husband, Aaron.  It was nice that Aaron was there because he was able to take our stuff. 

We got into line and picked up our race packets, much quicker this time, and then I headed to the port-a-potty.  After a quick pre-race photo we made our way to the start.

 Don't be jealous of our vertical bibs, we were told to do that

There were a lot more people at this race, about 650, compared to the first (150 people).  This was the third year for the 5K, but only the first year for the turkey trot and the challenge. 

A little after 9:30, we were off!  I was really tired at this point but I tried to keep up a good pace.  Mike and I didn't realize that the race course for the 5K was an out and back, and on a dirt road at that.  I held up a sub-9 pace the first mile and I contemplated trying to negative split but that was pretty quickly thrown out the window. 

The dirt road was congested once people started to make their way back from the turn around and it had "dirt holes", Mike's version of pot holes for dirt roads.  You had to be really careful not to twist an ankle or fall, which unfortunately I think happened to a few people.

Right before the turn around point, I saw Mike and then Crystal.  We all waved to each other and then I made my way back to the finish.  A little while after the turn around, I saw Crystal's friend, Stephanie, and cheered her on.

My pace definitely slowed during the last mile, but I pushed as hard as I could for the finish.  In typical cruel race fashion, I made my way uphill for the last .1 miles and crossed the finish line in 27:01 official time (my watch said 27:14 and I even started it after the start so I'm not sure how my official time was possible but I'll take it).  Mike's official time was 23:54, which was also faster than his watch time.

After we were done, we waited for Stephanie to cross the finish line (it was her first 5K and she did great!) and then we tried to find our stuffing.  We went inside and didn't see any, so we went to find the guy to ask about our sweatshirts and the stuffing.

 Excited to be done!

We can't wait to eat Thanksgiving food!

When we found him, he said that they would mail us our sweatshirts and any age group awards we won (Mike got third in his age group in the turkey trot and third in his age group for the challenge).  That made up for some of the disorganization!

However, when we asked about the stuffing he replied, "oh you actually read that part?".  We were really sad that there wasn't any stuffing, but don't worry I think Mike and I made up for that later at dinner!

We gathered our belongings from Crystal's friends and boarded the shuttle.  After waiting for FOREVER, we finally hit the road back to Plymouth.

 We love school buses

When we got to our cars, we said goodbye to Crystal and then headed back to my grandmother's. 

Overall, this was a great experience and I know that it will improve as time goes on.  I'm glad that the race directors acknowledge the disorganization and made every effort to remedy it.  I would definitely do this again! Plus, it is always nice to see Crystal and we already have EPIC plans to see her in February.

Oh, and it is her birthday today so head on over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Did you run on Thanksgiving?


  1. Sounds fun! I wish they had something like this closer to where I live.

  2. Sounds so fun!! I wish there was a Turkey Trot for me to run, but sadly we were visiting my grandparents in the middle-of-nowhere Kentucky. No organized races haha. We did all take a nice long family walk though!

  3. Thanks for the birthday wishes! It was so awesome to see you both again. I can't wait til our next adventure!

  4. Congrats on completing the challenge! Too bad about the stuffing, though; that's total false advertising. ;) I just did one race on Turkey Day, lol.

  5. That stinks about the sweatshirts, but any challenge finish is awesome!! And you'll get your sweatshirts, so that's exciting! I'd be a little sad about the lack of stuffing too. What an odd response...Crystal's review also made it sound like they definitely have some things to improve on for next year. Congrats on finishing the challenge! You rocked it and the hills!

  6. Unfortunately, this is the first Thanksgiving since I started running, that I did not run! (A broken arm definitely slows things down!) But... I will be back next year!!

  7. Woo hoo! Racing addicts. Sorry about the disorganization but it looks like you had a blast!

  8. No stuffing? They can't promise things like that and not deliver! :) Awesome job on your double! I ran a 5k, and then added on to complete 10 for the day, so I earned my Thanksgiving dinner, too!

  9. That's an awesome challenge, how fun! Looks like a great time, and you can't be medals for small races! :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  10. What a fun challenge. You and you hubby seem like such awesome racing buddies.

  11. Sounds like an amazing challenge! Congrats on some awesome times! :)

  12. This looks like so much fun! you guys are awesome....I am so proud of you! I saw these on dm and I was like - woah so hardcore ;) I must learn to jump like that!

  13. Sounds like a blast! Glad you guys had fun!

  14. I'm a bit bummed that there was no stuffing! I not so secretly really want to participate in an eating contest :) Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Glad you had an enjoyable holiday!

  15. Both of these races sound like fun and I don't blame you for being disappointed about not having stuffing at the end. That's a big draw on Thanksgiving!