Race Report: Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K

By: Scott McMahon

In my quest to complete a race in 12 consecutive months (see Stanley Kulikowski’s 12 T-Shirts), I naturally chose a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot to be my November race. Fun theme, donations to charity, and some exercise before a huge dinner–what’s not to love? After running in several different locations in southeastern Michigan in the past few months, I decided to stay at home in Ann Arbor and run the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, put on by Good Boy Events.

The weather was unseasonably warm for late November, which meant temperatures were already well into the mid-30s by the time the race began. Once the blood started to rush through my body, I was actually a bit too warm in my long-sleeve shirt. Not a problem though, I would much rather be on the warm side during a race than too cold.

The course explored much of North Campus, heading up towards research facilities and alongside engineering buildings before the final stretch through the dorms. The terrain was mostly flat with some small rolling hills throughout, with the exception of the final hill. Our final quarter mile was all uphill around Baits dormitory, and had the steepest climb of  any other hill on the course. I kept pushing–albeit with a much slower pace–up the hill, passing runners who chose to walk it, and finished just a few seconds later. My final time was over 27 minutes, not my best by any stretch of the imagination. Credit a slow start, weaving around walkers, and the final hill for that.

Overall, the race was a good experience. Outside of the actual running part, the staff was friendly, lines weren’t very long for a 2,000-person race, and there were some nice giveaways. Runners who brought canned goods to donate were treated to a variety of travel-sized health/beauty products (I stocked up on women’s deodorant), and Busch’s grocery store raffled off 50 pumpkin pies to 50 lucky runners. I am proud to say that I was one of those 50 recipients, and enjoyed the pie with my family in Ohio.

If you’re considering a Turkey Trot next year, I would definitely recommend taking part in the 2013 Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K next Thanksgiving. Get some exercise, and maybe even a free pie, before spending the rest of your day eating.

Up next in December? TBD–my recently sprained ankle may get in the way of accomplishing this goal. Pro tip: make sure you remember how to properly land on your feet after celebrating a touchdown in flag football, and avoid a stupid injury like mine.

Good luck, runners!

One Response to “Race Report: Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K”
  1. Rachel says:

    I thought the weather was perfect for a race. I wore shorts and a tank top because I knew I would warm up once I started moving, and I was really comfortable. Generally I’m good in shorts and a t-shirt down to about 40 degrees, but it was like 36 at the start of the race so I guess it still wasn’t too cold.

    I did over 27, too (27:06), but that hill at the end was hard!! Also, the course was NOT 3.1 miles (3.26 if you go by the course map they posted online), which the average paces on the results site totally didn’t account for. I guess it was a good race overall and I had fun with it, although I would have liked a better performance to close out my season.

    Ice that ankle! Treat it right and maybe it won’t still be sprained four weeks later like mine is. :/

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