• Manassas,
    Virginia,
    United States
  • November
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K
  • Road Race

John Niedzwiecki

Florida, United States
60 18
2014
"First Turkey Trot with a Side of PR"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
John Niedzwiecki's thoughts:

I was excited to run my first turkey trot. I can't really explain why, I just was. The race I picked benefitted a great cause. It was in memory of a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty and benefitted his foundation. Added a little bit of good feeling to Thanksgiving. The race day weather was cool, but not as bad as expected. I wore long sleeves and tights under my shorts, but was not cold standing around pre-race other than my hands. Of course, the starting line was outside of a closed Target, mocking my cold hands with their gloves for sale inside any other day of the week. With that in mind, though, parking was ample and simple. Packet pick up was a breeze race day, just like my previous BRATS race experience. I walked right up to the table, gave them my name. One person checked me off, another grabbed my bib and a third got me my shirt. The swag was limited to just the shirt, but it was a nice short sleeve tech shirt (in a bright orange that I enjoy). I wore it later that day, and it's a good quality tech shirt that I'm happy with.

Both courses were shared, with a simple out and back. For the 5K you just turned around sooner than the 10K racers. The start went in 2 waves, the first was the 10K starting at 8:30 followed by the 5K around 8:40. This leads to the only hiccup of the race. There was one speaker at the start / finish line that was playing music pre-race. This was also used for announcements just before the race, reminding everyone what the pre-race email mentioned (10K first, course highlights, two way traffic). However, with the large number of people, if you weren't up front, you didn't hear it. you didn't even know they were talking. Heck, back where I was before the race, we didn't even know they were doing the national anthem until the rockets were red glaring. Another speaker further down would have went a long way.

The course wasn't too difficult. It featured a slow uphill grade for a decent portion of the first half, but I hadn't even realized it until turning around and realizing how much downhill I was going. I had my run walk intervals going and apparently didn't even notice the uphill journey. I won't argue with that. My phone came in with a just over 12 and a half minute pace (with negative splits!), which I was very happy with accomplishing. After seeing my chip time, I found out I had a sub 12 minute pace, which makes me ecstatic! It actually is my 5K PR. I even could have likely pushed harder. I'll get them next time.

Official time: 37:03.74

After finishing the race, we were given a dog tag with the race logo on. It's not full on bling, but it was pretty cool. This is part of a 3 race "Holiday Series" with a special bling after completing all 3. For the runger, there were bananas, granola bars and protein bars. Not a bad selection for a small 5K.

I really enjoyed this race. The weather wasn't as cold as it could have been. Despite the small speaker issue, overall the race was well set up and run. It was also a great value. I registered at an early bird rate of $25. How many 5Ks give tech shirts as part of their swag? runDisney doesn't even do that as $60 (on the cheap end of the scale for their 5Ks). The race was simple but good.

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