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Race report from West Point Turkey Trot

Monday, November 18, 2013

Well, turkey trots are usually fairly low key, more about the fun and exercise than anything. The West Point TT was low key, even for a TT. There were probably about 150 runners with adults, teens, kids, dogs, and little kids bundled up in baby joggers. It was a $5 entry fee (free for cadets, who were fairly well represented).

The start was a short walk from my house, so I bundled Elizbeth and Henry into their layers and into the buggy and warmed up a bit on the walk down to the race. It was a great racing temp, around high forties to low fifties. Cool enough that I wore a light jacket and hat during warm up and cool down, but I was able to comfortably run in a t-shirt and shorts.

As it got close to the 8am start time, we lined up for a few announcements and a nice vocal rendition of the anthem before starting off. I lined up about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way back in the pack because I had the double buggy.

The course left the parking lot and hit the first hill at the 0.1 mi marker. It was a fairly short hill, but left a few who weren't used to hills or who had forgotten to warm up gasping for breath. I held my own on the hill then started passing winded folks on the straightaway. One of them was my friend Corey from the physics frisbee team. He was a bit put out that I was passing him with a buggy, so he hung with me until he caught his breath and passed me before a step descent.

After Corey passed me, I hung behind him for a bit and we passed a few more people on the first descent, the next flat and the next descent, which got us down to the Hudson River level. Then a brief hill, back to river level, and another flat section. We hit the two mile mark before the third hill, which was longer and steeper than most folks were prepared for. I passed Corey and a young lady near the bottom of the hill and dug in for the climb.

At that point, I think Corey's competitiveness kicked in and about 1/3 of the way up the hill he surged passed me. His gambit may have worked if he had waited a bit before overtaking me. Instead he burned out and I passed him for good about 2/3 of the way up.

The rest of my family including my MIL and FIL were at the top of the hill cheering and ringing a cowbell. They said they were surprised to see me that early (7 min behind the leaders). They got a picture of me giving Paulie a high 5 as I jogged past, I will have to get a copy.

After the hill, it was a flat 1/2 mile to the finish. I had enough juice left to finish strong, passing a few more runners on my way in to a 25:11 finish time. They only recorded finish times for the top three men and women overall, teens, and 12 and under. I didn't catch the winning times except the male overall had an 18:30 or so. No idea on how I did within my age group or overall, but as I was approaching the finish I heard someone announce that we were the first buggy.

We stuck around for the awards after, then went home. Then we took everyone out for a hike in Bear Mountain State Park just South of West Point. There is an abandoned town called Doodletown in the park and we did a nice two hour loop through the town and the surrounding woods. I carried Henry in the backpack. The big kids did well, Elizabeth had to be carried for part of the hike.

We had a great weekend overall. The only downside was that I over indulged a bit and gained 3 lbs over the weekend! That should come off fast as I get back to normal though. Thanks for reading, have a great week!
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