Saturday, November 27, 2010

Drumstick Dash, a Thanksgiving Race Report

Paul and I have kind of started a tradition of attempting to run a race every Thanksgiving.  We missed last year, because the twins were so young, but we were back at it this year.

The Drumstick Dash is a 5K on Thanksgiving in Roanoke. This race benefits the Rescue Mission, with proceeds going towards feeding the homeless. It's by far the largest local race. 
They use the Dtag form of timing, which is a disposable timing chip.  Why is this good?  Because you get accurate times, yet they don't have to have people at the end of the line untying the chip from your shoe.
Here is what one looks like (incidentally, they used the same type of timing at NYC):

It was a windy, cold morning.
Here are my race passengers.
This was my first race where I pushed the twins (although I run with them in the stroller frequently). 

This year the race had 3 different starting lines, each starting 5 minutes apart.
First, was the starting line for runners.
Then the starting line for runners w/ strollers and runners with dogs.  This was where we waited.  Behind us, were walkers.
Look how many people were in front of us - there were 11,500 runners this year: 

It's nice that Rescue Mission tried to separate the starting lines, however, it caused me to have a fairly rough race.  First, I had to weed through all those dogs, which wouldn't have been a big deal except that some were on exceptionally long leashes (like 10 - 20 foot) so that took up a lot of the road.

Then, once I navigated doggie dashing, I came upon sooo many walkers, who seem to have started with the runners instead of the walkers.  Many of them were walking as a family, so they took up the whole road and there was just nowhere for me to go with my big stroller.  Several times I had to slow to a walk, and a few times I went offroad to get around big groups.  I figure I ran an extra 1/4 - 1/2 mile in detouring.  But it was also nice to see so many people out getting some exercise, for a good cause.  I knew, going into it, that this wasn't a race for a PR (personal record).  The twins immediately konked out and slept for the entire run - the stroller puts them to sleep every time.

One thing I liked about the race this year was that they had many little street bands along the course.  It was fun hearing the different types of music along the way.  The course also just winds up and down the streets of downtown Roanoke, which I really enjoy.  It has some uphill and downhill grades, and one short yet steep hill in the last mile.

When I approached the finish line, I ran into a huge backlog of runners.  A total bottleneck, and I had to stop and stand, watching the clock tick tick tick with precious seconds as I waited patiently for people to move ahead so I could cross the finish line.  It's not that I expected some great time or something, but still in a race you don't want to just be standing there!  Finally, I worked my way across the finish.  My chip time was 28:19. 

Afterwards the crowds were madness.  I couldn't find Paul, who had run with Pierce in the stroller.
But I did cross paths with running friend Steve.  His blog (which focuses entirely on running) is HERE if you'd like to check it out. 

And then we stumbled upon running friend Karen: 

After catching up with them (and my friend from high school, Karla, who was down visiting family) I decided to head to the car, where I finally reunited with Paul and Pierce.

We headed to my parents' house, and enjoyed one of the most beautiful turkeys I have ever seen (plus, all the fixings): 
A very nice way to spend Thanksgiving!


Steve Surratt said...

That was so fun! Those bands really made a difference. The one on Norfolk Ave near the train tracks was very motivational since it was so loud you could hear it going up Salem.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

I'm don't know how in the world you can run & push that stroller with Fric & Frac (I mean Reid & Cort) in it. I have enough problems getting my hips up the mountain! Hope your Mom is doing well!...:)JP

Myya said...

What an awesome tradition! I am so not a runner, but I get all giddy & excited when I read about your running journies. Wonder if that means there is a glimmer that someday I may try it???

Anonymous said...

The bundled up twinnies are so cute!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Great way to spend Thanksgiving. We go hiking.

Texan said...

I am impressed! Pushing twins, that has to be hard. I run but but not while pushing twins! :O).