Race Recap: 2015 Turkeython 5K & 10K

For the fifth year in a row, Uberthons’ turkey trot, known as the Turkeython, provided an opportunity for Portland-area runners to get some racing done before going off to Thanksgiving festivities.

I had a comped entry courtesy of Uberthons, which I used to register for the 10K race. Pre-race packet pickup was available on Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving Week. I went to the Wednesday pickup at Bridgeport Village and received my racing bib from the absolute best, most awesome race volunteer ever.

Oh yeah, I had volunteered to help with packet pickup, and Uberthons’ Alan Rasmussen walked me through the process of assigning bib numbers to race registrants by using my race entry….

Bridgeport Village had offered Uberthons two unused storefronts next to P.F. Chang’s. One of those was the check-in location, and the other would, on race day, house the results kiosk, muffins, and the medical assistance team (as usual, from Acceleration Sports Medicine).

I had signed up for a four hour block from 10 am to 2 pm, which might sound like a long time, but it actually went by pretty quickly. Since it was the middle of the day, there wasn’t an overwhelming number of racers stopping by, but it was fairly steady. When there were no racers, I helped stuff goodie bags with Uberthons hats and scarves. Darwin Rasmussen found it amusing that I had trouble getting the plastic bags opened, until I figured out that there were pull tabs to make it easier.

When I finished my shift, I decided to buy an Uberthons hat and scarf. These came with race entries, but since mine had been comped, I thought I should pay for it. The hat is great! It’s a little large (or my head is a little small, which would surprise my family, I suspect), but I just roll up a couple of inches at the end, and it fits fine; and it’s cozy and warm.

Course map

On race day, I got up at 7:30 a.m., had a small glass of orange juice (I wasn’t too hungry), and arrived at Bridgeport Village around 8:10 or so – plenty of time before the 8:30 start. Parking was easier than last year; Bridgeport must have offered more parking areas than it did last year.

Once I got out of the car, I thought, it’s cold!! According to the temperature and wind data pulled by my Garmin GPS watch, it was 36 degrees but felt 28 degrees with the windchill. At least it was sunny. I knew it was going to be cold, and on the “I am thankful for … ” bib attached on the back of my shirt, I had answered “treadmills!! brrr!!”

As part of the pre-race festivities, announcer Alicia Rasmussen was giving out pumpkin pies from Costco to winners of various impromptu categories. In all, 25 pies went to happy homes. (Mmmm, pumpkin pie….)

With over 1300 registered racers, and most of them actually braving the cold to show up, the race directors started us in multiple waves. To give you an idea of how many people/waves there were, I ended up in the middle of the crowd, closer to the back than the front, and the difference between my gun time and chip time was close to 7 minutes.

The race course was nearly identical to last year’s, except that this year’s was missing a little divot along SW 72nd. (I learned later from Darwin Rasmussen that Uberthons took the divot out because last year’s course ended up being a bit long for walkers and some runners, and that without the divot, the shortest possible distance on this route would be 3.09 miles.)

We started just behind the Barnes & Noble, turned the corner of the bookstore, and took another corner to run past the Regal Theaters. That took us to the back of the mall, where we turned again down a super-secret back alley. Maybe not so secret, but I visit Bridgeport regularly, and I’ve only gone down that alley for the Turkeython (2014 and 2015). Because I started behind so many waves, I ended up doing a lot of weaving in and out in the beginning stretch and throughout much of the race.

As for the cold, I gradually felt like I was warming up to a decent running temperature – except for my hands. I was wearing thin liner gloves, but for the first 2 miles or so, my hands felt like they were in some arctic environment.

The water/aid station was around the halfway mark, just past the one hilly stretch of the course (about a 70 foot vertical ascent along Upper Boones Ferry). As I ran past them, I thought about how much more fortitude it took to be a race day volunteer than one at packet pickup.

The last stretch of the course follows Lower Boones Ferry before cutting into the road between Whole Foods and the strip mall across from Bridgeport Village. I picked up my lagging pace a bit here and followed the crowed back to the mall. Race finishers went to the left side of the timing station, while 10K runners like me stayed to the right and went back to do the loop over again.

My 5K splits (going by my watch) were 21:04/23:48 – boo, positive splits! Apparently the second half involved thinking not just about the upcoming feasting, but running as if I had already feasted or something.

I had company in town, so I wasn’t able to stay long after finishing, but when I checked the results later, I saw that there were some fast performances, including a new 5K PR for fellow Run Oregon blogger Brian Bernier (15;33). Congratulations, Brian! Ten 10K runners finished under 40 minutes, including overall winner Madeleine Davidson, who did it in 34:12. Nine 5K runners finished under 18 minutes, including three under 16 minutes. Overall winner Matthew Klein had a blazing time of 14:52.

For full results, click here.

For hundreds of photos, click here.

The last Uberthons race of the 2015 is the NaughtyorNiceathon.

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