Thursday, November 28, 2013

Race Report : Sugar Land Turkey Trot

Today the entire family ran/walked the Sugar Land Turkey Trot.  I chose it from the three Houston area races because it is the smallest and therefore the easiest to handle with a big family of young kids. I started having some misgivings the night before when the forecast was 31 degrees at 7 a.m., but I found every pair of gloves and hat I could and managed to cobble together a warm outfit for each of the kids.  #4 is the luckiest, since he's still not walking and got to ride in the toasty warm Chariot running stroller.  When the clear vinyl rain cover is closed it stays surprisingly warm.  We've previously taken babies up to 10,000 feet snowshoeing in Colorado with the ski base attached to the stroller and it stayed 60 degrees inside -- I hung a tiny thermometer inside to be sure.  With clothes settled, I made a batch of cider-cinnamon muffins to get everyone fed in a festive way and out the door on time.

Race morning was incredibly chilly, but we made it out the door just 10 minutes behind my ideal schedule.  The sunrise this morning was gorgeous!  The race start is at Finish Line Sports in Sugar Creek Center, so there's plenty of parking.  We had a three minute walk to the start line and there were plenty of police keeping the area completely clear of traffic.  Thanks, officers!

I did this race as #4's engine, since the mile race is for kids 1-12 and he still doesn't walk.  The kids' race course was an out and back with a water station at the turnaround.  They had the kids line up by pace and strollers in the back.  #1 and #2 took off in the middle of the pack and #3 walked with me and #4.  For the first third of a mile, #3 was not feeling it.  There was sitting down, there were miniature steps, there was cajoling.  Finally she informed me she "found her energy" and set off with her signature sprint/walk combination.  I love out and backs for kids' races because we get to see the older boys as they come by.  #1 came by first, looking strong but still feeling the effects of a lingering cold.  #2 was spotted a few minutes later, holding a steady pace while chatting with an older boy.  It turns out they were talking about "banishing Dora the Explorer."  When we saw the turnaround, #3 really got excited and sprinted to get her cup of water.  She also didn't like that people cheered for her at the end and tried to hide behind me.  #4 crossed his first finish line today!  Note my mismatched cheap gloves because I gave my good ones to the boys.

The kids were able to choose the color of their finishing ribbon.  I love it when they have something race-specific.  My kids would take a custom ribbon over a generic medal any day.

We finished with a few minutes before the 5 mile race started so I was able to get a shot of Christian, ready to race.

He was predicting to go slightly sub-8's, so I headed off with the kids for a while.  #2 was really cold so we went into the Fiesta Mart in the shopping center.  It was full of runners and everyone working there was super friendly to the kids, asking them about their race and what they're doing for Thanksgiving. After we grabbed a few groceries and popped them into the minivan, we headed back for the Shipley donuts the race director had told the kids would be delivered at 8:30.  Exactly on schedule, the donut delivery guy showed up and the kids were in the donut line so quickly.  We were headed over to the finish line, but my favorite local roaster, Katz Coffee, was there with a special blend being promoted by a boxer whose nickname was "Baby Bull."  It's a presweetened Mexican-style coffee and it tasted really good.  I bought some to take home and the boxer guy even autographed it.

I thought we had plenty of time to get to the finish line and set up to get a photo of Christian, but within seconds of getting to our vantage point I saw him passing by!  I'm just glad we got to cheer for him, since he finished just under 38 minutes!

The race shirt is just a plain t-shirt, but the kids really love to wear them as play clothes -- now all four of them can match.

We had so much fun that we are planning to do this race again.  Everything was kept on a tight schedule, the crowds were very manageable, and there was even a grocery store right there to warm up and get a few last minute Thanksgiving ingredients.  This is definitely our new family tradition.

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