It’s lookin’ like I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving Day in Chi-Town Proper for the first time since 2005. But I’m not worried about where I’m going to get my turkey from – I’m worried about where I’m going to go to run my Turkey Trot.
I've run so few of the shorter distance races in the last couple of years. When race entry fees are $25 or $30 dollars, and the events are crowded and/or disorganized, it takes a lot of the fun out. Between the expense and the hassle, I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for the frequent 5 and 10Ks around the city. Small town Trots on Thanksgiving have been a different story, though. They're always raising money for something, and the atomosphere is friendly and charming even if they aren't slick and polished events.
I had a lot of fun in ’06 and ’08 running the Burgettestown Turkey Trot 5k at my sister’s place just west of Pittsburgh – not least because I finished 2nd and then 3rd in my age group and got myself a medal for it both times. I’ve only ever “placed” at one other event. I also ran really strong races both times and set a PR at the ’08 event (which I’ve since bettered).
In ’07 I was in Quincy, IL (west side of the state, not far from St. Louis) visiting a friend of Laura’s for the holiday. I did a 10K that year. My time wasn’t quite as stellar, but I did finish 3rd in my division. (Though I was disappointed to learn, at the awards ceremony, that they only gave medals for 1st and 2nd places.)
Well, I’ve never run a Turkey Trot in Chicago, so I gotta find one! I’ve done a little research and found that there are 14 – 14! – Trots being hosts on Thanksgiving Day around Chicagoland. There are three that are within the city limits proper, and two on the north side of town – that being my general area of residence. Either one might be relatively convenient. The first is an 8K that starts in Lincoln Park. It’s a big race, with 6,000+ runners expected, so it’ll be a little crowded. They’ll even have chip timing.
The other one seems to be a bit more informal. It’s up in the Edison Park neighborhood. Not sure how big the race will be; I can’t find any past results online. There’s no chip timing, no gear check, nothing overly formal – but that could be a good thing. It might be cool if I could find a hint of small-town charm inside Chicago.
I’ll also have to decide if I want to go after the 5K or the 8K distance. The only 8Ks I’ve ever done were multiple Shamrock Shuffles in April the last 6 years, but all those finish times are slower than what I should be able to do right now. Or I could try to blast out a 5K and see if I can drop my time any closer to 21 minutes.
I still might be crazy and drive out to one of the nearby ‘burbs to run one of their trots, also. I’ll look into a couple of those before I decide for sure – especially if one of them is raising funds for an interesting charity. Either way, I’m determined that the Trot Tradition must continue!