Race Recap & Review: Turkey Trot LA 5K/10K

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I decided many moons ago that this Turkey Trot would be the last race I would do in 2013. Finishing off at a fun run would be a good end to the year.

During one of the organizer’s marketing emails, they included a free promo code to the first person who got it. I just happened to be at the right place at right time and snagged it for the 5K/10K combo, and registered for the 5K for my mom. Woo hoo!

For reference, a 5K is 3.11 miles and a 10K is 6.22 miles.

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup was held at the Sports Chalet over on FIGat7th, a newly remodeled shopping center right in Downtown.

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As Sports Chalet was a sponsor for this race, they supplied a “Mystery Gift Card” with a value of $5-100 in them. All three of the ones I got (5K/10K + my mom’s 5K) all had $5. My guess is that only one lucky runner got the $100 gift card 🙂

Race Morning

As Turkey Day loomed it was a sunny morning with temperatures in the mid-60s.

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My mom and I pre-paid for our parking nearby, and walked over to LA City Hall, where the 5K/10K start/finish lines were at.

The Course

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The 5K started at 7:45am (although it was delayed a bit), and the 10K shortly at 8:30am. The course itself was the same for both, as the 5K was one loop through the course, while the 10K was two loops through. That meant as a 5K and a 10K runner, I’d be running the course three times.

The first 3/4 mile of the course (and the 3rd mile for the 10K) was a very steep uphill, as it made its way from LA City Hall around Grand Park to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Then it was a steeper downhill back to the start line after the first mile (and 4th mile for the 10K) and then an out-and-back down Spring St.

During the out-and-back on Spring St., I passed by my mom approaching her 2nd mile and we high-fived. One of the benefits of running on an out-and-back!

I decided to pace myself during the 5K and not run too fast or else I wouldn’t be able to recover fast enough for the 10K. While I wanted a PR, I needed to save my energy to be able to continue running. However, this didn’t seem to be the case, as my “let’s-not-run-too-fast” pace turned out to be a PR finish at 22:21or 7:12 / mile. I finished in 7th place for my division, 99th overall.

My mom finished at 40:21, or 13:01 / mile. This placed her 22nd in her division, and 1161st place overall. Congrats! There were 1664 recorded runners.

After I finished the 5K, I got my medal, unstrapped my 5K timing chip, and recovered for about 15 minutes before getting in line for the 10K.

First 5K: 24:23
Second 5K: 24:45
As the 10K was the same course just twice, I finished it at a slightly slower pace, at 49:08, or 7:55 / mile due to the fatigue from the 5K and running through all those hills again. This also placed me 7th in my division and 139th place overall out of 1164 runners.

I met my mom resting over at the steps of LA City Hall, and we took some more photos of our new accomplishment before stuffing ourselves with turkey later that evening.

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As always with Thanksgiving races, this was a very fun race. People were dressed up like turkeys, pilgrims, cooks, and all sorts of costumes, and the DJ really kept the upbeat and fun atmosphere all morning. Thank you to the race organizers for organizing a very well-run inaugural race through the streets of Downtown LA!

Some tidbits:
-The course really needs to be changed for the 10K. Running the same thing twice was not very interesting, and there’s lots of LA to see. If you’re going to advertise a 5K/10K combo, make it worthwhile. I heard that they had to change the course last minute though.
-Both the 5K and 10K medals were the same. This was a little disappointing, and the volunteer at the end distributing medals at the 10K thought I already got my medal when in fact I was holding my 5K one.
-Parking is actually free on Thanksgiving day, so there was no need to actually pre-pay.
-Downtown LA is really nice and organized now. The packet pickup was held in a mall that had a lot of really nice shops and restaurants, ones that I would expect to see in Downtown SF or Old Town Pasadena, not LA.
-You can’t really complain much with a free entry, but this is something I would pay for next year.

With that, my 2013 racing journey is complete!

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