Mercer County Turkey Trot Race Recap

Happy Thanksgiving everyone in the USA! I hope you all had a great holiday filled with love and laughter and food, and if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great weekend anyway 🙂

My Thanksgiving was great because it involved running. That’s right, let 2015 go down in history as the year I finally ran my first Turkey Trot!

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A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law Mere (a super speedy, hardcore inspirational runner who blogs here and is on Instagram too!) mentioned wanting to run a Turkey Trot to kick off Thanksgiving, and I was all in: an excuse to hang out with family AND earn an extra scoop of stuffing? Aces!

In the week leading up to the race we had some fun picking out ridiculous race-day gear and finally arrived in Mercer County Park on Thanksgiving morning, ready and raring to go.

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Our hats may have been the best things EVER.

It was COLD out there! The temperature hovered around 34 degrees; even though the forecast called for 60 degrees later in the day, the air in the park didn’t get the memo. So we danced around and hung out with these two turkeys while waiting for the starting gun (my hubby, right, and his brother, left).

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Even the boys wanted in on the sweet turkey hat action.

At the gun we took off with almost 1,000 other runners in silly outfits, regular running gear, people with kids and strollers and groups – and we even managed to stayed relatively bunched together with a good group of people the whole 3.1 miles! My two longsleeve layers and gloves kept me warm, but after the first 1.5 miles I quickly warmed up and shed the gloves and extra hat under my turkey.

The best part about running a race with a speedy runner like Mere is that I didn’t stop to walk once! We set out not to “race”, but just to have fun, and that’s exactly what we did. I know it can’t be easy for a faster runner to stick around at the back of the pack with me, but the motivation boost, pace-pushing, and company are always much appreciated!

It’s even MORE fun when you’re running with someone who also wore pants with a wider waistband like we both did, because we spent a good 1.8 miles of the 3.1 pulling up our pants and laughing 😉 And every 5 minutes or so, people either passing us in the race or on the sidelines would yell out to us, “Nice turkeys!” or “Love the hats!” Even the guy fully dressed as a pilgrim near the finish complimented us – coming from a guy with buckles on his racing sneakers, that meant a lot.

The course took us through the park via the main road and through a semi-paved trail path. It was gorgeous, but a little crowded as we ran through the woods past a lake and back around the start/finish area, over some rolling hills for another mile or so, then back downhill on the main road towards the finish again. The whole time we talked about our spring racing calendars, how much we wished we’d picked pants that fit, family, life… everything. It was great! And just as I was starting to overheat and my dreams of stuffing and turkey became all-consuming obsessions, we finally crossed the finish line hand in hand and cheering at 35:10!

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Our men cheered us on as we finished, and we hung out for a bit afterwards taking some fun pictures and waiting for the area to clear out so we could leave the parking lot safely.

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And those hats… my god those hats. They were worth their weight in gold, let me tell you! Endless entertainment on the course and off, for us and for the folks who can’t help but play with them (see above).

All in all this was a great race that I will definitely add to my calendar in the future! While I’ve never run a race on a holiday before, I loved the novelty of it and look forward to doing it more. It breaks up the usual lazy-day feeling of a holiday, gets the heart moving, gives me an excuse to hang out with my speedy sis-in-law, and makes more room for an extra sliver of pie: a win-win-win-WIN!

Did you race on Thanksgiving? How do you feel about Huffing for the Stuffing? And do you have a pair of pants like ours that just won’t stay up during a run? 😉

12 thoughts on “Mercer County Turkey Trot Race Recap

  1. Those hats are the best!! Nice of your men to come and cheer you on too. And yes, I’ve got pants that start to droop too…what is the deal?? Maybe we’re getting skinnier as we run? We can hope right?

    • I was the same way! I would run on my own but never do a race. But now that I’ve done it I like it – it’s a nice way to put my own spin on a holiday that’s filled with traditions that other people started 🙂

  2. Those hats are AMAZING. I love that the legs can be ties to keep them on too! I also wore a goofy hat for my Turkey Trot, but it was not as cool as yours! Plus I was the only one to wear anything remotely goofy, which took some of the fun out of it 😉

  3. Pingback: Ode to the Fitness Buddy | Jess Runs Happy

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