Mercer County Turkey Trot – Race Recap

I’ve been trying to convince my BFF or mom to run a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot with me for years! I always run that morning by myself, but it has been quite a few years since I’ve gotten in a real turkey trot race. This year, my BFF was IN, and I was excited.

The closest, most organized looking race I could find was about a half hour away, the Mercer County Turkey Trot.  This would be its 5th year running, past race results had a good spread of runner skill levels, AND there was a medal! Even better, the proceeds go to local food banks. It was held in a park I’d run in many times before: my previous triathlons and a 10 miler I’ve done multiple times are held here! I went in quite excited for the event.

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On race morning, it was chilly willy! The weather had recently turned cold, so BFF and I dressed appropriately…. Of course, that included festive eyewear! You can’t do a holiday themed race and NOT dress up, at least in my book. I never miss a theme party.

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These glasses were obviously a great find on Amazon (though they were a little heavy). I am proud to say I kept them on the whole race. I even paid for that with marks on my nose bridge for the rest of the day 🙂

It was cool and sunny, and as we were about to set off, a man walked through the crowd with a sign reminding walkers to get to the back. I appreciated that! Nothing worse than tripping over walkers who put themselves at the front. There were also pace signs put up at the start, which I appreciated. There were so many fun costumes and outfits, I absolutely loved it.

We took off right on time, which I also appreciated since I did have to get home pretty quickly after to keep on cookin’.  The course went onto the main road, but then quickly looped back at mile one, toward the Lake in the park. I had NO IDEA there was a path that went completely along the water, which was where this race took us for the whole middle of the course. This was a scenic paved bike path, right along the lake. It was like we were out in the middle of the country, not in Mercer County, NJ. I was so pissed at all of the other races (all held by CGI) I’ve done in this park in the past who NEVER used this trail. Pissed! It is beautiful – and the races I’ve run instead loop around silly Mercer County College parking lots when this dang trail exists?!?!?! WHAT?

Anyway, that’s my way of saying, the whole middle of the race was on a really nice trail and I enjoyed it 🙂

For the last half mile, we were back on the road into the starting area – I appreciated knowing I was almost done and could sprint it in! There was a photographer out at the finish stretch as well, which was fun.

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I crossed the line in 33:53, for a 10:55 average pace per mile – far faster than I’d thought I could do right now! In my current week day runs I’d been averaging low 12’s for the most part, so my goal for the race was NO 12’s in my mile paces. Turns out I blew that out of the water – yay!

Overall, this race was lovely, and I very much hope to do it again. Good cause, great course, great crowd, AND a super cute medal!

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