Another year and another Thanksgiving race! I wasn’t planning on racing at all for the remainder of the year but my recovery from surgery is going well and I’m running with no restrictions (except having to stop more often than I’d like to). I did a short workout on Tuesday, running three ½ miles in 3:00. It felt harder than I’d hope for but it was nice to get some turnover. I figured based on the workout I might be able to manage 6:00 pace in race conditions.
I entered the Winner’s Circle Running Club “Wild Turkey Trot”. This would be the ninth time I’ve done the WCRC race and the third time I’ve done it since they moved to Pipestave. Back in 2011 they moved from Maudslay State park to Pipestave. The Maudslay race continues but is under different management now. As a lifetime member of WCRC I’ve stayed loyal (so far). ☺
I got to Pipestave (a nice park in West Newbury) and after fielding many questions on the whereabouts of Greg Putnam (my CMS teammate who has won this race) I headed out for a course preview. I forgot how hard this course is! Even the warm-up felt tough at 8:00 pace. I switched into my Inov-8 racing flats and went back out for another mile and some strides. A little over 300 runners lined up on the baseball field for the “Braveheart” style start.
It is always a little crazy at the start with a 200 meter on the field before a sharp 90 degree turn. Typically a lot of youngsters take it out hard and then nearly stop in their tracks. The real trick is to just not panic and stay on your feet for the first ¼ mile. I lined up on the far left and took the first turn wide, staying out of trouble. By ¼ mile I found myself in 10th place and by ½ mile I’d moved up to 6th place. Kevin Alliette (Whirlaway) was bidding his time as one guy sprinted out hard. The early leader took a sharp turn at ½ mile where you need to go straight. The chase guys were about to turn as well when I noticed what was happening and yelled for them all to go straight. That was pretty much all of the excitement in the race. Alliette moved into the lead and powered away from the field to win by 20 seconds.
I lost a spot on the first long downhill to the mile and just after the mile I passed a guy to move back into sixth place. Nothing changed for me from that point on except I got really tired and struggled on all of the uphill sections (and there are a lot). I can’t complain with an 18:35 over this tough course, and I took first in the 50-59 age group.
I grabbed a t-shirt and a sip of water and zipped back over to the start to run the course as a warm-down. I was hoping to catch mom Dunham who was out on the course running with one of my sisters. I caught Denise and mom at a little after 2 miles and offered encouragement. Mom ended up winning the 70+ age group for the second year in a row.
26th Annual Winner’s Circle Running Club Greater Newburyport Wild Turkey Trot 3.1 Mile X-Country Run/Walk
West Newbury, MA, 11/26/2015
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Place Div/Tot Div Name City St Ag S Bib Time Pace
1 1/3 TOP3-M Kevin Alliette Methuen MA 34 M 325 17:22.3 5:36
2 2/3 TOP3-M Alex Demeule Merrimac MA 18 M 71 17:43.7 5:43
3 3/3 TOP3-M Quinn Parker Hampton NH 22 M 202 17:47.6 5:44
4 1/24 M1829 Andy Scott Merrimac MA 24 M 234 17:57.8 5:47
5 2/24 M1829 James Macvarish Braintree MA 20 M 324 18:09.7 5:51
6 1/36 M5059 Dave Dunham Bradford MA 51 M 84 18:35.1 5:59
7 1/16 M1317 Kevin Bonanno Topsfield MA 17 M 16 19:07.7 6:10
8 3/24 M1829 Bryce Parker Hampton NH 20 M 201 19:16.6 6:13
9 2/16 M1317 Ryan Ducrow Amesbury MA 16 M 81 19:26.1 6:16
10 1/23 M3039 Keith Leblanc Amesbury MA 37 M 157 19:28.9 6:17