As runners across the country know, Thanksgiving is about more than just eating and wearing pants with elastic waist bands. Thanksgiving is about Turkey Trots (not to be confused with runner's trots which may or may not occur during said turkey trots). This year in the Bronx, a new tradition was started with The Thanksgiving Marathon. This is a different kind of turkey trot. For one, it's a marathon. Or a half. Or a long 10k (6.5 miles to be exact). Another thing that sets it apart is it's free. No clocks. No bibs. No tshirts. No qualifying times. Pretty much, you show up and you run. When you finish you get a fork on a ribbon with "Thanksgiving 10k (or what ever distance)" written in sharpie on the fork.
I love this. I love this idea. In an age where races are trying to be bigger and bigger and more and more expensive and closing with in minutes of opening up to a year before the event, it's awesome to show up, run as far as you feel like running, have someone put a fork around your neck when you finish, write your results in a notebook (yes, that is the official time keeping device), stuff a few bucks in a paper bag left by said notebook to cover costs, eat a banana, see familiar faces, and just have a good time.
The organizers of this race laid out a great course. While I run in Van Cortlandt park a lot, they went of the beaten paths to come up with their 6.5 mile loop. It was on a several trails I had never been on, a nice mix of hills and flats, and over all beautiful. A nice change form the usually courses up in the park.
Since this was a rather casual affair, I emailed the race director to see if my dog Bea could run the race. He replied very quickly saying yes, dogs were allowed on the trails and she was welcome to run.
WOOHOO! Bea's first race! We've been running with her since she's come to live with us and this fall we've been building her milage. She was easily running a little over 5 miles so I didn't think one loop of the course would be a stretch. The weather was cool, which is to her liking.
Loren and I wanted to make sure she wouldn't annoy other runners. There were also 2 other dogs running, one the half and one the 10k. I wasn't sure how she would be with the other dogs, it can be hit or miss. She spent the first half of the race trying to catch a female pittbull. When she finally did catch her (and left me in the dust) she just wanted to run with her. They ran the last 2 miles with each other. Being the loyal companion she is, with about a quarter mile to go, she waited for me. She had a great time, finishing the course in about 58 minutes. She even got a fork.
I'm really looking forward to more of these free, laid back "races", though I think I'll be skipping the 100 miles around the Central Park Res.
Post run family photo
more race picture here