Sunday, November 30, 2014

Louisville Turkey Trot 5K (Race Recap)

Thursday, November 27
Louisville, CO
Weather - sunny, warm, windy

Coming off Big Cedar I didn't want to pay to run a turkey trot. A few years ago, we ran the turkey trot in Louisville, a FREE (with donation) turkey trot. I figured the Louisville Turkey Trot would be the best option for me this year, and signed up Ariel to join me.

The race started at 9:00 and the race suggested taking a free shuttle to the start since parking in old town is limited. We left the house at 7 with a quick stop at Dunkin' for donuts and coffee. We found parking only a block away from the start, but we now had well over an hour until the race started. We took our donations and picked up our bibs and free beanie hats (donated from the Ugly Sweater Run), then sat in the car watching "The Croods" until about 20 minutes before the start.

Getting our turkey trot on!
Of course I had to use the bathroom after drinking a soda and a latte. There were probably a dozen port-o-potties and we didn't have to wait very long - less than ten minutes. The start line was congested, there were a TON of people. We ran into my friend Jennifer and chatted with her for a minute, but Ariel was anxious to be in the front of the line.

There were no "rules" about dogs, strollers, bikes so the race course was somewhat... congested. We started somewhere in the middle of the pack and it was very crowded. The race was timed, but no chips, and our bib numbers didn't actually correlate with our names (which was fine, this was a FREE race).

I had not run one step since Big Cedar. I had no idea what to expect, but figured running with A would keep the pace down low enough that it wouldn't be painful. I was wrong. Within a half mile I was already limping from the pain in my calves. The race was crowded, but I knew that if we got separated A would be able to find me pretty easily. We didn't stick together much on the first mile (road), as she was sprint/walking and I was gimping along.

I caught up with her before we entered the "trail" section. We did some run/walking, but neither one of us was especially into running. A did tell me her goal was to run 40 minutes, so I told her I track our time. Got this pretty shot before we hit the halfway point.

I love when I can see the mountains this clear on a fall/winter day!
Mile 2 was the low point of the run. I had forgotten to bring water and A was complaining. They had an aid station set up and she was significantly better after she had something to drink. We were running on the last section of trail before ending up back on the street when we saw a man trip over a dog leash and fall... the dog owner didn't even stop to make sure the guy was ok!! I don't run with a dog, but I'm assuming you should keep on a short leash and on the far side of the trail/road??? I was appalled.

Ariel ran a bulk of the last mile, and with some prodding, she got very close to her finish time goal.

Garmin Time - 40:59
Garmin Distance - 3.11 miles
Garmin Pace - 13:11
Mile 1 - 11:51
Mile 2 - 15:22
Mile 3 - 12:30
Mile 3.11 - 11:36

We crossed the line and went looking for water and we were very surprised to see these cool custom coffee mugs!

I got in the regualar coffee line and A got some hot chocolate. And THEN, I saw that they also had free beer??? As far as I know, there was no limit on that, we didn't have to pay or give tickets. They had a fire pit set up and we sat around for a few minutes while I was finishing my beer before we headed back to the car.


  • According to their Facebook page, there were over 6,000 runners. CRAZY. They were able to collect something like 15,000 pounds of food for donations, not to mention all clothing donations. Amazing!
  • I am truly shocked at what we got for a free race. Custom bibs, beanie (or Santa hat), custom coffee mug, drinks and BEER (GOOD beer).
  • All that said, this is not a race you want to run for a PR (unless you end up in the very front).
  • The course was a gradual uphill on the way out and slightly downhill on the way back. The course was very clearly marked, with mile markers every mile. We still saw a few hundred people cutting the course between miles 1 and 2 (why??).
  • Very crowded at the start, so again, if you want to actually RUN this race, start near the front, but remember that this is truly a family event and starting too far back will get you "trapped" a lot.
  • I really can't say enough good things about this. I had no expectations going into this race and I had a great time, and I'm really impressed with the amount of work that went into this event.


  1. I love it when you find a race bargain. These days they are getting far and few between. People really do appreciate bargains and getting something for their time and entry fee.

    Take care of your calf too. You may want to try heel inserts to take some of the pressure off of your calf. These days, shoe manufacturers are dropping the heel to toe drop to accommodate the trend of zero drop shoes, which leads to calf and Achilles problems.

    Also glad to see you earn some "mommy" points by racing / running with Ariel. I am sure she appreciates the bonding experience.

    Can't wait to see what you run next.


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