The Spicy Way

My area turkey trot, the Legend of the Fall is, in fact not really a turkey trot, but the only event happening in Iowa City, on Thanksgiving. I appreciate that this event is more of a challenge, yet everyone is encouraged to participate. I have run this many times in the past, you can see the review for last year.

The 2016 event was on Thursday, November 24. It was cloudy and around 40 degrees.

As in years past, I ran to this event, it’s just under a 2 mile jaunt to the school where it’s held. I made it to the school in plenty of time to register at the $25 price tag. I even got a long sleeved, unisex, cotton shirt.

There was a little time to just mill about. I was starting to get cold, so I stayed indoors until I had to get to the starting line on the track. It was nice to also take advantage of the real bathrooms.

I met up with fellow Corridor Running board member, John, for a quick picture.

We made our way to the starting area, which was just a clump of people. The announcements were general, consisting of trail conditions and no National Anthem. Then it seemed like the clump of people just moved forward….guess the race was on!

We did the “lap” around the track and headed off into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park. As I mentioned above, I have run this race many times before, but running in Hickory Hill feels new every time. I have had to ask a friend to accompany me on training runs through the area, as I get lost.

The days leading up to the race were rainy, but no rain during the race, like the previous year, so the trail was decent. There are areas of single track, some roots, some open spots, running through an open field – all kinds of terrain. There are also some decent hills.

I met up with, Monty some where in the race. I met Monty a few years ago when he helped with a couch to 5k program, since them he has participated in the 100 mile challenge, and we encourage each other on your many running endeavors. However, it was the first time we were actually racing together.

I enjoyed the company, it was nice to have a friend on the short course. He asked me about the “spicy way.” So, I told him… Last year the spicy way was eliminate due to the muddy conditions, however in the past, it was a short cut, through a creek and then climbing up the bank. He was curious, how much longer the mild way was, if it really was a short cut.

Of course, I always take the spicy way…and who was behind me, Monty! I live for this kind of fun. After stumbling through non marked trail, through tree branches and over fallen limbs, I came across a couple of people standing there, discussing how they were going to get across this creek. This is when I said “You only live once, see you later!” What proceeded was like a scene out of a move… I took a splash in the 3 inch deep water, hopped over to the creek bank and pulled myself up and across…. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! (someone might want to check if those people are still standing at the creek, ok I kid)

I was back out on the course, and could hear Monty behind me, yay! Spicy route fun for all!!!

The way back to the track, was all uphill, but I mustered through and made the final “lap” around the track and across the timing mat. I made sure to wait to see if Monty finished, yay!!!

I saw a few more friends and chit chatted, before I made my way back inside the school to check out the post race food and results. The parents and school staff always do a great job with the post race spread. Sure the race is only about 3.8 miles long, but you have your choice of many home made breads, cookies and bars.

I checked my results to see I finished near 40 minutes, which was a decent time. I did discover the person in my AG crushed it in 27 minutes, dang!!  The winners received a pie!

I decided to get on my way, I didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving planned, but wanted to get some more miles in and have a lazy day.

I took a little longer route home, adding about another 3 miles or so on the day, for a total of 8.4 miles. Not too bad for a “turkey trot”

I really like this race, and I plan to keep on doing it if I am available.

The rest of my Thanksgiving consisted of a nap and watching movies, it was great!!

I did end the day, enjoying a meal at the Iowa River Power Company, with the B1G reffing crew. Say what? Yep, my Thanksgiving gets shifted around due to Iowa Athletics. The Iowa / Nebraska football game is now the Friday after Thanksgiving, so this year I was invited to join the officiating crew for the game at a Thanksgiving dinner.

Hope you all had a great holiday!