Holy cow, am I out of shape!
Seriously, that was the thought repeating in my head about every 5 minutes during this spectacular run. The scenery was great, the trail was well marked, the weather was cooperating for a change. All the requirements for a great run, with the exception of my physical conditioning.
I convinced Matt to sign up too, so early Thursday morning we headed off to the Topanga Canyon. We ended up parking off-site to pick up the Shuttle Bus and had no problems finding a spot, and only had to wait for about twenty minutes for a seat on the shuttle (the first one we encountered was full). I had my running pack, so I was able to tuck my race t-shirt in there and not have to return to the car, although many people wore theirs instead. Check in was quick and easy, and there were plenty of shady areas to wait while we waited for our race to start.
There were three races that morning - a 5k, 10k and 15k. Apparently, we felt motivated when signing up, because we selected the 10k option but in retrospect, I'm glad we did even with my lack of training. The group size was tolerable - the start of the race was a single track so it was a bit congested. I didn't mind for the most part because it helped me pace myself but it does get frustrating when folks aren't courteous and don't let others pass. And of course, this isn't a reflection on the Turkey Trot, this happens in every race out there. Once we got past the narrow section, it was easy enough to set my own pace.
The finish line was hidden behind a few sharp turns and was a welcome sight! Once across the line, you could snag your medal and a bottle of water, and head back to where the awards were. I'm not typically one to hang out since I'm usually not in the running, and I certainly was not for this race either, but they offer breakfast and beer after the race too. And the breakfast burritos smelled FANTASTIC, so I couldn't pass one up. Or a beer. Hey, it was 5 o'clock somewhere.
Before I knew it, the awards were complete and we grabbed the shuttle back to the car and were on our way home to refresh for the remainder of our Thanksgiving holiday.
Overall, this is a really well-organized race. Race day communication is great, lots of announcements alerting runners of when and where the start is, a large enough crowd to make it fun but not overwhelming, and of course the post-race refreshments! Not too many races will offer you a legit breakfast, instead of creating your own with free samples. The only rain on the parade was that Matt's phone slipped out of his pocket on the shuttle ride back to the car, and we tracked it to the bus garage where the shuttle was from, but somebody must have taken it and not dropped it off in the lost and found.
Again, full disclosure that I'm an Ambassador for Generic Events, who put on the race. If you're interested in their other races (check out more of their trail races here) let me know and I can hook you up with a discount code!