Thankful Four

This is my annual Turkey Trot race. So I can burn some calories and “earn” the Thanksgiving meal… plus they have great cookies!

This is a little town race (Waukarusa, IN) which has usually 500-700 people. Basically, the entire town. It’s the closest race I can get to from the inlaws. I usually go solo, this year was no different.

Also, as normal the weather was nasty. Freezing fog, again, this year. So getting there via back roads was an adventure in and of itself.

I get there in plenty of time, check in, get my stuff, warm up. All pretty normal. It’s a no frills kind of event. This year, however, they had a BUTTERBALL division…. Oh REALLY? Do tell!

Well, every year they have a fast young man and fast lady wearing Turkey Hats and if you can beat them you get a turkey! This year they added a Butterball division, which is the 200lb + folks (well, men) and you had to beat the designated Butterball. A 250lb 6ft 3in local. Hmmm… now we’re talking!

So we line up and I keep my eye on the butterball. He’s got a special hat and he’s so tall it’s easy to see. But I don’t want to line up up front with the fasties (common courtesy) but he’s taking front row center position. D’Oh!

So my goal is simple, catch and beat the butterball! I have no idea what I would “win” but whatever.

We start off unceremonious “GO”. As expected, it was very clogged up for the first 1/4 mile. too many people sorted themselves wrong and so on. So I just kept my eye on the butterball. He’s actually moving at a pretty good pace… darn it!

Considering I have spent the last 2 months doing almost no running and all running drills (while I allow my ankle time to recover from an overly-robust August) I had no clue how this would go. I had one run earlier in the week and it went “ok” so I figured it would work itself out… or I’d go down in a ball of flames. Either way, I need to burn some calories!

I settle into a solid but sustainable pace. I’m Sloooooowly gaining on the butterball. I’m patient. By 1 mile I’m within 200yds. By 2nd mile he’s fading and I’m picking up speed, so he’s within 50ft. By 2.5 I pass him handily. By mile 3 he’s a good 200yds behind me… but I’m hurting. My legs, not used to running this hard this long are not happy. 1 more mile to go. 10-12minutes left… I can do ANYTHING for 10-12minutes so… I hold it. I continue to gap the butterball.

Finally I see the school. One lap around the track and I’m done. I’m in a state of not-so-controlled agony but it’s only 1/4 mile… I try to pick up the pace. Butterball is nowhere to be seen!

I cross the finish, 42 something. Not bad. 10:30ish pace. I walk around a bit to gather myself and ask about the butterball. They hand me my LIME GREEN CHAIR!! WHOO HOO! I won something!!

I stick around and about 2-3minutes later Butterball comes across the finish, clearly spent. Nice. I thank him for the chase, and the chair, and head off to get my cookies!

They have the BEST cookies!

All in all, a good way to start the day!

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