The Katy YMCA Turkey Dash on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 26) was my second year running the 5K event in Katy, Texas. It’s a fun local turkey trot with three distances: 10K, 5K, and 1 mile. This year, 5,959 runners and walkers participated. There was also a contest for those of us inclined to running in costume. I didn’t dress in costume other than my signature tutu. Last year, “Waldo” won four tickets to Schlitterbahn, which he and the boy enjoyed in the summertime. This year the competition was stiffer.
This is a great family event. The course is flat and there are plenty of freebies and food at the after party. The mild weather is also a plus. Both years that I’ve run have been fantastic, although 2013 was a cold miserable mess (I registered but did not run because I was sick). Parking is off-site, but frequent buses shuttled runners and spectators efficiently.
The turkey dash is a fundraiser for the YMCA, and has reasonable entry fees. If you register early enough, you can get a 10K and nice tech shirt for under $40! All others get the standard cotton t-shirt. And there are plenty of opportunities for packet pick-up, including race day.
The boy, Waldo, and I arrived early to meet up with a friend before the race. Unfortunately, her race registration was lost so she was unable to run. I encountered a different problem, which I didn’t discover until the next day when I checked the official results. Turns out I was accidently given someone else’s bib. So until that’s fixed, I’m a 20-24-year-old male.
This year the race was organized a bit differently. The 10K and 5K had separate start and finish lines (part of the course was shared). And this year the 5K runners were assigned into corrals (A-E). We were instructed to line up in our corral holding area, and then one corral at a time we were escorted to the start line. While everyone was lining up, I did a 10-minute warm up. I didn’t know how I would do here as I had run the Route 66 Half Marathon just four days earlier, and that was a hilly course.
I’m happy to report that I had a good race. After my warm up, I looked for the boy in his corral, but he was lost in the sea of 5K runners. So I joined my corral, turned on my watch, and got ready to run.
The gun sounded and corral A was sent on their way. Four minutes later, corral C was released. I had planned to do a trial run/walk at 60:60 intervals, and that’s what I did. There were so many runners that I had a difficult time getting around everyone. I eventually broke free of the crowd about a quarter mile in. I found my stride, and ran with it – 10:53 m/m. I tried to keep up my pace, but I could not hold onto it. When I saw the finish line, I gave my final kick and managed to finish sub-36.
I was quite pleased with how the 1:1 ratio worked out, and with how well I did so soon after my half marathon. After I finished, I did a 10-minute cool down run and then met up with Waldo to cheer the boy to his finish.
After the boy finished (52:15), we hit the after party and collected some great samples and freebies. Somehow he ended up with a big grocery sack full of saltwater taffy!
Overall, the Turkey Dash 5K was a fantastic experience! The 60:60 intervals worked very well for me, I just need to work on endurance. The after party was great, and the costumes and atmosphere were phenomenal. Looking forward to running the 10K in 2016.