Highland Park Turkey Trot Race Recap


I just wanted to write up a quick race recap of the Highland Park Turkey Trot, where I got a 5K PR! This is the third Turkey Trot I’ve done (and it’s been a different one every time) and it’s a great tradition whenever we spent Thanksgiving with Mike’s family!

Originally, I was going to walk the race with Mike, Vinnie and Mike’s parents. But after my last pace run, I knew I could easily take a minute off my 5K PR. Mike was all for me racing the 5K instead of walking so I began to get ready.

Which wasn’t a lot of getting ready since we were so close to the race. I still did my tempo run on Tuesday but moved my second cross training day to Wednesday since I’d be running hard on Thursday. I was feeling good on race morning, not even sore at all from my previous workouts that week.

We had to walk a little bit from where we parked the car to the race start and got there maybe 15 minutes before race start. It was pretty unorganized at the start, no one was really clear on where the “race start” was since apparently, the direction had changed from previous years so people were just milling about. This wasn’t a chip timed race so I knew I wanted to get towards the front of the pack just so I didn’t have to dodge too many people.

And I ended up basically right up front, behind a group of middle school girls that were afraid that they were at the front (but still didn’t move back). And then we were off (with the middle school girls screaming as they tried to run as fast as they could).


There were some fast runners at that race because I started off at a sub-6 minute pace. Which as soon as I saw that, I knew it was way too fast and I was going to crash and burn if I kept it up. Luckily, there weren’t too many people around and I could safely move over a little and slow down without causing anyone to have to swerve around me. The first two miles were pretty great, a slight elevation loss on both of them which made it that much easier to run fast.

I did have a positive split for this race but that’s mainly because I started out too fast and was trying to rein it back in and the last mile turned into the wind and had a pretty decent elevation gain (especially compared to the rest of the course). I did walk a little bit on a hill towards the end (at about five minutes before I would cross the finish line) because my body is not used to running that fast uphill. Even with walking, I still managed a sub-8:30 split for the last mile which felt great.

I ended up crossing the finish line at just under 25 minutes (24:54) which was so amazing to see on my watch. That’s 90 seconds off my TC Valentine's Day 5K race time, which was my previous PR, and I’ve never seen a sub-8 minute average pace at the end of the race. No medal from this race but I’m super excited for the Reindeer Run 10K in two weeks because after this I know I can get a 10K PR easily!

Did you do a Turkey Trot? Let me know how it went in the comments!

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