I requested and received a free entry into the Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day 4 mile Race this year from RunColo. Last year I did the Loveland Turkey Trot and enjoyed it, but I was excited to do the other Northern Colorado race this year. Troy's family lives in Northern Colorado, so we always end up here for Thanksgiving. Troy and got out of the house a little late, but still found ample parking downtown. Hearing the announcer we were shocked that we got good parking as they were expecting 4000 racers. Seriously, 4000 people. I got my comped entry, which they were very nice about. I'm starting to learn that if you have a comped entry you are always going to have to hunt down the person in charge to get your packet. But, it's free, and so I am thankful!

It was freezing cold. Brrr, like below freezing. I did a lice long, ample warmup and quickly realized this was the most competitive turkey trot I have ever entered. They paid 5 deep and 1st prize was $800. Being relatively close to Boulder I'm pretty sure it drew every fast runner in the area.

As always, Troy was there doing Annie duty. Troy's parents also came to watch, and Roger took all the pictures here. img_0804.jpg

After my warm up I was really warm, and the sun came out just in time. I shed my 19 layers and went down to a pair of tri shorts and my Trakkers top and hat. That Trakkers top was awesome. It's so crazy lime green that my family had no trouble finding me in the sea of 4,000 runners and I'm sure you can't miss me in the pictures.

As I enter the starting area it's clear that there are fast pro runners here. The amount of booty shorts was intense. Lots of sponsored people and just all around crazy chicka runners.

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I get on the line and I look over and there is Whitney!! Whitney, AKA super stud has won the full Vineman two years in a row, and we ran together during the Gateway Colorado trail marathon. We caught up on the line a little bit and then we were off. We "gobbled" down the entire first stretch. Lots of fast men, I'm not even visible here! img_0821.jpg

I went out way to hard. Having been sick this last week it always throws off my sense of speed. Despite going out hard, it was crazy to see just how fast the fast ladies were. By the first turn the leaders had easily 20 seconds on my. Wowzer. Can you see the lime green? img_0825.jpg

I went through the first mile and my watch said 6:15. Crap crap crap crap. I never do this. I never go out stupid fast. Sometimes I go out a little fast, but never stupid fast. And... this is a 4 mile, not a 5K. So I seriously reigned it in. I consciously pulled back, slowed down and regrouped. The second mile came in at a nice 6:45. It's been a long time since I have been treated badly in a race, but boy I had this older male runner really dish it out to me. He wanted to pass, there was no room as I had a young kid on my shoulder and he "shoved" and "man handled" his way between the two of us. It was rude, mean, and way overly physical. I decided I would not let him beat me. I picked it up, started pulling my pace back up. I felt recovered from my evil first mile and wanted to drop it back down. The third mile was 6:25. Suddenly things were getting crazy. People were picking it up, people were dying, it was getting scrappy. I kept telling myself "six more minutes". Just run hard. I passed evil pushing man, he didn't even put up a fight. I pushed harder and there were ladies all around me. I really wanted to be the first across the line in my group. One lady was just relentless but she pulled me past all the others in my group. She stayed ahead of me, but clinging to her really made me run hard. My final mile was 6:13. Booo YA!! Pink shirt lady is a studette. img_0853.jpg

Coming down the final stretch was an all out effort. My father in law was waiting right there as I finished. He said I was somewhere around 15th.

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Turns out I was 16th overall female. You know it's a crazy race when Sara Slattery (CU alum, pro runner) is 6th, and Kara Roy (only woman to qualify for the marathon Olympic trials using a Colorado Marathon at altitude as a qualifier) is 11th. Romanian Olympic marathoner Nuta Olaru, was second, and the winner Adriana Nelson, ran just under 5:30 pace with a 21:58 finish time. Ey Carumba!

I chatted with Whitney some more and then we headed towards the car. I assumed that with so many good runners there was no need to stick around for awards. The awards were pies for the age groups, so I was a little bummed that the race was so stacked because I would have really liked a pie. Mmmm pie!

Later that night I pulled up the awards and low and behold, ALLLLL those ladies ahead of me were young. College age or slightly older, but none of them were "old" like me. I had actually been first in my age group. And a legitimate first, as in none of the top 5 were in my age group either. Seriously should have stayed for awards. Major bummer!

4 mile race 16th woman 1st in W30-34 time: 25:41

Great turkey race! Great competition, great vibe!

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