This is the fourth year that the Milwaukee Turkey Trot has been in existence, and the fourth year I’ve run the race. I’m fairly certain it’s also the fourth different course they’ve run us on.
The race has a 5k and 8k distance, but I’ve always run the 8k. How many chances do you get to run an 8k? Although both races start at the same time, so getting sucked into 5k pace is always a risk.
After doubling Chicago and New York, I wasn’t sure if my legs would be ready to hammer out an 8k. The morning came, and I could tell I wasn’t 100% ready to go. The cold and wind definitely didn’t help.
We got going and, as always, got out a little quick. My momentum stopped at about .75 miles, though, when I had to stop to tie my shoe. Frustrating for sure, but in a Turkey Trot, that didn’t bother me a ton. I still came through Mile 1 in a 6:20.
Mile 2 had us go on two hairpin turns (new course problems) and up the only hill on the entire race course. The hill is typically where, if you’re racing, ground can be made on just about every other runner. This year, we hit the second mile marker right before the steepest part of the decent, and I cleared it in 6:26.
After having to stop in the first mile, my legs feeling tired, and my stomach upset, I figured there was no point to try to hammer the second half of the course. This was, however, a great time to try to tempo the run as best I could.
I passed Mile 3 in another 6:26, and for the fourth year in a row, resisted the temptation to turn to the finish and quit at 5k.
The last two miles of this race are possibly my two least favorite miles I’ve ever raced. Every year I think the same thing. From the 5k turn, it’s a one mile out and back to Bradford Beach run along the sidewalk. Its like the longest yard.
The turnaround at Mile 4 featured yet another hairpin turn, which is just a momentum killer at that stage. I cleared this mile in a slightly slower 6:32 as we turned back into the wind that was ripping off Lake Michigan. Coincidentally, I cleared the first four miles faster than my 4 Mile race PR (which is VERY soft).
Coming back toward the start finish, I didn’t get passed by any runners, but certainly felt like the hunted as opposed to the hunter. The home stretch takes us off of pavement and onto gravel, which I’m not a fan of at all. Coming across the finish, I stopped my watch in a 32:21, which would have registered as my second slowest time at this race.
Turns out, I got a chip timed gift of a 32:16 official time…which is still my second slowest at this race, but it’s almost right on par (4s difference) with my finishing time from 2016, which was the last time I did a Fall double.
In case you were wondering, Strava had my “Moving Time” about 7s faster than my actual time. Meaning it apparently takes me 7 seconds to tie my shoe.
Knowing that I didn’t have a prayer of Age Group placing, I fought through the traffic war to leave the parking lot, got my coffee, and went home to watch football and eat my finisher cinnamon roll.
All in all, I really do like this race, and it’s one of the few events that I know the distance is going to be dead on every single year. Plus, it’s a fun opportunity to get out and run a race on Thanksgiving morning.