Last year, I was on the sidelines watching my friends & family run this race. I am glad I was healed and well enough to participate. It is my favorite course, so any chance I get to race in 6 Tunnels, I want to be there.
Earlier in the week, I battled a fierce head cold, so I came to the race with some stuffiness and very low expectations. You may recall, my last 5k was in PA, when I felt wonderful and failed miserably at my 5k, for no apparent reason.
Arriving at 6 Tunnels, bro and I met up with mom and his Canadian friends, Andy and Rachel. We know it’s Thanksgiving when Andy arrives, for his yearly trek. This year, he brought his sweet girlfriend to experience Las Vegas.
Bro was scheduled to race the 12k, but a glute issue was keeping him from racing his best, so he decided to drop down to the 5k and run with me. Since I suffer from Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) and I had chest congestion, this was not prime conditions. I didn’t care, I was out there to push as hard as I could and enjoy being at 6 Tunnels with my friends and family.
Andy (Bro’s friend) was scheduled to run the 12k and Rachel (the friend’s, girlfriend) was participating in the 1 mile.
- 12k started at 8:00am
- 5k started at 8:05am
That was the first problem. With the size of this race (over 1000), the 5k’ers were bottle necked at mile 1/2, since we had reached the 12ker’s walkers. I have finally come to the decision, that walkers will not move over. I respect they also paid for this race, but please move over when others are trying to run around you. They really should start the 5k at 8:00am or even 8:30am. The first half of this race was nothing more than weaving and running into other people. That can be completely avoided with a different start time. I have been to plenty of races where there is at least 30 minutes between each distance start.
Coming into the first tunnel, the dust was the worst and I have run this course a lot. I even had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from breathing the dust through my mouth.
Out of the first tunnel, I tried to surge a bit, but I was at the 8:23 mile mark. That is my half marathon pace, not my 5k pace, even on that trail/dirt course. Then, into the second tunnel and that was dust was even worse. Ugh.
Turn around and back through the tunnels, at least I was mentally prepared for the dust. Coming out of the second tunnel, I went into my surge…well, I tried. Once we hit the 1 mile turn around – we were met with 4 and 5 people across (walking) and blocking the course. Bro tried to plow a way but people were not listening to us “runners coming through, please move aside”.
I felt good and I felt strong, but I knew a PR was out of my reach, I was held up way too long on bottlenecks and moving around others. I was NOT that far back, I was in the top group and these crowds made us feel like we were in the middle or back of the pack.
Came in a 25:20. Respectable on a trail course and missed my course PR by a few seconds. I was very pleased and much happier than my race in PA, that was for sure.
Once I crossed the finish line, the sneezing and wheezing started. Oh mercy, that kept coming for at least 10 minutes. Rachel met up with Kirk and I. Next, we had to wait for mom on her 5k and then Andy on his 12k.
While I was in my sneezing attack, Kirk ran out to find mom. I was quite concerned she was on this dirt/gravel course. I didn’t want her to do it, as he is so prone to tripping and falling.
Mom and Bro come in and sure enough, she fell. Allegedly, someone tripped her on the course. Oh, Mom.
We checked results and I was 2nd in my AG (again). This is a pattern, I always get 2nd in my AG at the Turkey Trot and this was my 3rd 2nd place AG for this Turkey Trot. I finished 88th overall (including men) out of 723 racers. No complaints from me!
Here I am with my AG award and Ladybug’s ball (the course, where Ladybug’s ball tradition began in 2011)
Mama got 2nd in her AG. And even though Kirk was tagging along with me, he got 3rd in his AG. We both giggled, at this one!
Andy came in strong on his 12k finish and we had a great time chatting about the race. Here is our group photo with medals and AG awards.
I am so happy I could run this race, again. I missed it! Once again, beautiful day and great temps. This course never, ever disappoints me. The only disappointment was the overt crowding and bottle necks. That can be completely avoided, hope the RD makes those changes for next year.
My race gear:
Shoes: Altra One2’s (purple)
Headband: (Black) Bondi Band
Shirt: TSH singlet with a black tech shirt underneath
Another Turkey Trot is done and I am so glad I went.
Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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