I must say, I love this race. The course is different from the usual Boise races, but familiar. The crowd is festive and rather large for a typically cold holiday morning. And the slight downhill in the middle mile rocks!
I got the starting line and saw a familiar jacket- the Brooks ID and BrooksBeast jacket. Nick Symmonds! Who knew the Olympian and Boise native would be running in our little Turkey Trot today? Sure, he gave a book signing/talk the night before, so we knew he was in town, but doesn't he have the all important BeerMile next week? So, that was a cool way to start the day.
I warm up, do some strides and find my teammates. We all toe the line on the relatively warm day (should have worn shorts) and get ready to run fast. The course is flat- maybe slightly uphill, but only slightly- for the first 3/4 mile and then it turns back down. Not noticeably downhill, but enough that you think you could run forever. Enough that your middle mile splits are easy to match your first mile, even though you went out a little too fast.
At 2 miles the course begins to turn, and turn often. You still have the downhill advantage for about 1/2 mile but the number of turns starts to hinder your pace ever so slightly. At the farthest west point of the race, you probably have 3/4 mile to go and you have to make back all of the altitude you lost. 10s of feet ;) However, it starts to feel hard and it is the end of the race so suddenly the race feels hard, and you know exactly how far you have to run as the number streets count down. To stay mentally tough here is the biggest challenge of the race. This is where you want to jog it in. But if you focus your breath and your strength on one block at a time; if you remind yourself that you can run with the person trying to pass you and then surge to stay with them; if you smile and shake off the little devil on your shoulder you can run an incredible time. Bank the fast miles and hang on at the end.
I wish I could say I ran that perfect last mile, but I didn't. I will revisit this post next year and remind myself that sub 17 was possible today. However, I am in no way disappointed with my 17:34- a race pace I felt capable of since at least August and has eluding me every time I toe the line. Hooray for not entirely lost racing seasons and season bests.
Super fun race. Soft and cute race t-shirt. Fast race times. Good community. And the occasional world class runner. Worth making a thanksgiving tradition for singles and families alike. Looking forward to it again next year, with even more BoiseBetties at my side!