This morning I ran my first Turkey Trot, a 5M race in Windham, New Hampshire. This event has been hosted by a family out of their home since 1995 to raise money for a local charity. It started as a small event of 50 participants and has grown to around 1,200! It was great to see so many people out this morning getting some fresh air and exercise before indulging in their Thanksgiving meals.

E and I felt pretty tired after our long travel day from London to Boston – our plane had to make an unexpected stop in Gander, Newfoundland to refuel due to “bad weather,” adding several hours to our journey – but I was excited to get some miles in this morning. My plan was to run 1M easy before the 9am race, then 4 x 1M at race pace (7:30ish) with 1 minute recoveries, followed by a 1M cool down, to keep in line with my race pace workout progression.

It was a gorgeous day – bright and sunny – but SO SO COLD! I forgot just how freezing New England gets by this time in the year. That certainly woke me up! Here’s a photo from our drive to the race, as we passed by Corbbets Pond:

I knew that the race would be fairly low key but wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how well organized it was, and was particularly impressed that the race was held out of a family’s home! What an amazing idea. How friendly and trusting for a family to let a bunch of runners come into their house to use their bathrooms and keep warm in their living room!

We showed up around 30 minutes before the race to sign up and warm up. Everything was very chilled out – you just walked up to their garage and signed your name, donating as much as you wished to give to charity. Donuts, hot chocolate, water and apples were available in their driveway. Music was playing, everyone was gathering and chatting in the road and the atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly.

I warmed up for a mile, headed back to the start area to wait with E and then at some point a woman shouted “Run!” and we took off. I ran the first half mile with E and then started my 4 x 1M repeats. It was cold, the course was pretty hilly (although with as many downhills as uphills) and I had to dodge quite a few walkers, dogs, cyclists, kids and other obstacles but I had a great run. My splits were 7:27, 7:28, 7:29 and 7:15 with 1 minute “recoveries” (it felt a bit strange to just start jogging in a race so I took it down a notch to around marathon pace), followed by the last .2M or so slightly faster than race pace and a post-race cool down. My total time was around 52 minutes for 6.7M – I was using the interval setting on my Garmin and ran before and after the race, so I’m not sure what my actual race time was.

Here are a few photos from after the race:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!