When I looked at the weather on the computer this morning, it told me that it was currently ten degrees, with a low of sixteen for the day. Not sure how that works - but it sure didn't stop a whole slew of people from coming out for the 2010 Scheels Turkey Trot.
People parking, checking in and milling around trying to stay warm were greeted by a hot air balloon. Can't imagine what the temperatures where like up there, because everyone on the ground was freezing.
I took a little warm-up jog, and couldn't decide if it was better to stand still with my hands in my armpits of run around and create my own wind. Pretty soon it was time to get corralled up:
They let the mayor of Sparks do the countdown, and he gave a strange little "On three - One, two three..." Everyone hesitated a sec, then started running. The first mile or so out of the Legends parking lot was still pretty cold - I had almost a brain freeze/ice cream headache - but then we settled into a pace and warmed up in the sun. When I hit the first mile marker, though, my watch read .8, which was when I realized that something might be fishy with the course.
Now, about a month ago, Scheels ran the Spark-a-delic 10K, which they billed as being a preview of the Turkey Trot course. It clocked as right at 6.2 miles for me, so I was optimistic that the distance and timing issues that I've had at the Sparks and Scheels races might be diminishing.
The course continued further out along Brierly Way than the Spark-a-delic course had, but then didn't do the out-and back on Lillard Drive to the north of Lillard. Instead, it headed right back west on Lillard and hopped on the bike path. At the intersection with Sparks and Springland, there was a funny spur loop that only added a couple blocks, but served to tie up that big intersection.
Obviously, I'm not a race director, and I don't know what kind of decisions go into making changes to the course like this. Changes don't bother me at all, either, except when they do something like this - make the course a whole half mile shorter. Yep, at the end, my watch read 5.78 miles for a 10K, and I saw a couple other people's watches that read the same. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed.
Despite thinking I might try to break 50:00 today, my training has been going well, and I thought I had a shot to get nearer 45:00 for a 10K. So my watch time of 41:47 didn't help me with that - until I figured out that was a 7:14 mile average. Thanks to coolrunning.com's pace calculator, I see that's a 44:56 10K time. So I'm going to call this a successful race, despite the course.