Last week, we moved from Washington, DC to Raleigh, NC! We decided to run the Ridgewood Turkey Trot, an 8K, in Raleigh on Thanksgiving morning. It was the perfect break from unpacking!
On Wednesday afternoon, we picked up our bib and t-shirt at the shopping center where the race would start and end. There were plenty of volunteers so we didn’t have much of a wait at all. The t-shirts are long sleeve tech tees and come in male/female fits and colors! Pretty cute! Fleet Feet Raleigh, which put on the race, offered hot cider and cookies to enjoy while you shopped! We were impressed with the great selection of running clothes and sneakers, despite the pretty small size of the shop.
On Thursday, we left our apartment in Cary at about 6:50 am, allowing plenty of time to get there and park before the 8:00 am start time. There was plenty of parking across the street from the shopping center at Meredith College, so we just had a short walk to the start area. Since Whole Foods wasn’t opened yet, we stayed warm by hanging out in Fleet Feet. Of course, we got a photo with the race mascot!
It was a pretty chilly morning so we waited until the last minute to line up at the start line, right by the shopping center. There were people holding up pace signs, encouraging runners to line up according to pace – nice for a fairly small race! This was also our first run since the marathon, not really intentionally planned that way. We felt fine to run earlier but had trouble squeezing in runs between all the packing and moving preparations. It felt weird to run again! It felt hard! My body seemed to forget how to run. I was struggling. How did I run 26.2 miles just a few weeks before? How could this feel so hard?
I tried to keep up with Mike but he lost him on one of the many hills. The course was pretty, through neighborhoods with a surprising amount of spectators on the chilly morning. The race had a very neighborly vibe; people seemed to know each other and know the spectators/volunteers/etc. It was HILLY! Running in Raleigh will be excellent training for any hilly race. Quite a change from DC! I actually usually don’t mind hills because they break up the monotony of a flat course. And downhills are always a great reward after a tough uphill.
I started to drag a bit during mile 4. ?! How was this happening? I felt pretty tired and was ready for the race to be over. I tried to pick it up at the end. As I ran downhill towards the finish in the shopping center, my iPod shuffle unclipped from my pant waistband – something that’s never happened before! I couldn’t clip it back on and didn’t want to stop since I was so close to the finish so just shoved it underneath my waistband. Then my earbuds pulled out from the shuffle and were dangling and swinging about. Annoying! There were a lot of spectators at the end of the finish – nice for a Turkey Trot! After finishing, we grabbed waters, bananas and Bruegger’s bagels, which were much better than the typical post-race bagels.
I met up with Mike and we sat outside of Whole Foods for awhile, watching runners finish. We enjoyed seeing all the local race t-shirts, including local run club t-shirts. We saw one for Fortnight Brewery run club -near our new apartment! – so we’ll have to check that out! We walked through Whole Foods before heading back to our car.
Overall, a fun, well-organized, family-oriented race! We noticed lots of large families doing the race together; it definitely had a strong community vibe. We’re looking forward to becoming involved in the Raleigh running community!
+ long sleeve tech tee
+ wide, challenging course
+ start/finish at Whole Foods!
+ close parking