Edwardsville Turkey Trot 5K

They're the best!
I'm a little late on some 5K race recaps, but as they say better late than never. On Thanksgiving day (see, I told you I was running late) I ran my FIRST race post-injury. Last year for turkey day, I was running a half marathon and this year I couldn't have been happier to toe the line of a 3.1 mile race. It had been 7 months of frustration but after slowly creeping my way back into running, I couldn't wait to get back out there.

I honestly didn't know how I would do, or if I would be able to finish. I hadn't been running anywhere over 3-4 miles as I had (and still am) respecting the 10-Percent Rule and really trying to remain injury-free.

How could you not want one of these? 
Luckily, I had the support of my mom and my brother (it's a miracle when all three of us can get together because my brother and I both travel consistently for our jobs). They both froze their tails off in 20-degree weather and although it was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, I was able to bring home a turkey for them. 

Here are just a few of many reasons why the Edwardsville Turkey Trot 5K was such a wonderful race: 

-Sorry for repeating myself, but seeing my mom and my brother support me was truly incredible and meant more to me than they'll ever know. Where would any runner or athlete be without their loved ones or support system? 

-I finished! I may have teared up a little bit after I crossed the finish line because I missed running so much and to be back in the running community felt so good.

-I crossed in 23:31, which somehow landed me 1st place in my age group of females 25-29 (it's a small race). 

-I love turkey trots and making running a Thanksgiving Day tradition. It makes stuffing my face later so much more rewarding. 
I hadn't had my hands on one of these in a long time. Too long.
-I've actually never participated in a race close to my hometown, not even in St. Louis (which that needs to change in 2014), so it was extra special to be able to run on my "home turf. "

-The course is a simple down and back along the trail at Edwardsville Township Park. I am pretty obsessed with the trails in Edwardsville and try to hit them up every time I'm home. A lot of the trails are in the woods where you're surrounded by nature--for me, it doesn't get any better than that. 

-Chip timed. 

-I absolutely adore the little turkey trophies they hand out at this race and apparently I'm not the only one. After I crossed the finish line, the next woman to cross asked me how old I was and once I told her she sighed with relief explaining that thankfully we weren't in the same age group because she won a trophy last year and wanted another one again this year. For a small race (469 finishers) I can't believe how many trophies they hand out, it's awesome! They award the top three overall male and females and then the top three male and females in each age division. Talk about some serious hardware. 

-After the race I got to see two lovely folks I went to high school with and haven't seen since I graduated in like I'm going to tell you too long ago. 

-I was the fourth female overall and was beat by two eleven-year-olds and a thirteen-year-old. I'm not even mad, because those three little ladies were incredible! Their parents should be so proud, and I hope all of them earn a scholarship to a fantastic collegiate program someday. 

-The best part? All proceeds of the race go to benefit Edwardsville Neighbors in Need which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing temporary financial assistance to Edwardsville area families for urgent needs due to unforeseen medical or emergency hardships. Learn more about Edwardsville Neighbors in Need on their official website.

To my friends from Southern Illinois, be sure to add this event to your race calendar/turkey day traditions in 2014!



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