Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Race Report: 2013 MEB2 Turkey Trot 10k

2013 was my fourth running of the Michael E Bratton II Turkey Trot. In 2009, it was my first 5k; I was elated to go sub-30 minutes. In 2010, I repeated the 5k and dropped my time to 25:43. In 2011, I was nursing stress fractures in my left tibia, but still managed a finish in 34:38. In 2012 I stepped up to the 10k as I ran my tenth race of the Gold Country Grand Prix (GCGP), cementing third place in the race series with a 48:42. I ran my first road marathon a little over a week later.

Pre-trot: the weather was beautiful in the foothills Thanksgiving morning
For the 2013 edition, I came back to the 10k, with a 5k running Twirly in tow. I was in the midst of a taper for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile race in San Francisco, but I had a tempo run on the training plan, so I kept it in the 8:0x range after a nice warm up mile spent running with Twirly.

The MEB2 Turkey Trot is by far the largest race in the GCGP series, and it is always good to catch up with other members of the Sierra Trailblazers Running Club. Word had spread that I would be representing the club in the 2014 Western States 100, so that dominated much of the small talk before and after the race.

We got a late start, likely due to the 500 or so runners registering on race morning (total participants was estimated to be over 2000). A new timing system meant that the start/finish line was narrower than previous years, which actually helped spread everyone out before funneling through the gate as we left the track.

By the time we reached the single track, Twirly and I were cruising at an easy pace. As we climbed towards Sierra College Drive, I wished her well and upped my pace to tempo range, between 8:00 and 8:30. Running uphill felt good, and I began passing people.

I kept my pace steady through the rest of the first loop, and wondered if I should ease up to adhere to the tempo workout on my schedule. I was supposed to do 2 tempo intervals of 15 minutes separated by 3 minutes of easy. After some quick mid race calculations, I figured that 40 minutes of solid tempo wouldn't wreck me. I was feeling good, and having a blast. Maintaining tempo pace on a hilly course was feeling easy, and my confidence for the 50 miler was bolstered.

I wished each runner a Happy Thanksgiving as I passed them, and crossed the line in 51:28. No PR, but a great training race. I cooled down with 25 minutes of jogging on the football field as the back of the pack finished.

When I compare the Garmin data from the 2012 10k to the 2013 event, I can see that I am in similar shape. That bodes well for the North Face 50.

Reno resident Chris Badolato brought his ringer-ness and won the 10k; beating second place by over a minute and a half. I have been trying to coordinate a run and/or beer with Chris for a while now. Alas, it wasn't in the cards this time.

Cruisin' on a Thursday before noon...
And, the details:

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