Thursday, November 22, 2012

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot: many more turkeys!

Many more turkeys in the street this Thursday! Many more than the few dozens of our Tino Turkey Trot on Tuesday. And more than last year's record number at this event on Thanksgiving morning in the street of San Jose, the fittest city in America! Tens of thousands, probably something between 23 and 25,000 participants. And almost 1 million dollars raised for three local charities.
Greg was nice enough to first accept an early wake-up call (6:30am) and join Agnès in the 5K. As IBM was a sponsor this year, I got the privilege to say a few words on the main stage at the 10K start. I share that, although IBM is definitely an East Coast-based company, it had open its first office in California in 1914, 98 years ago, and its first site in San Jose in 1943. And we had more than 4,000 employees in the Bay Area. After thanking Carl for organizing such a major event, I wished everybody to have fun on the course!

At 48F, the temperature was just crisp but the weather perfect overall, with an amazing clear sky. I saw a few familiar faces at the front of the pack and, after the only wheelchair athlete started, it was the turn of the 10K crowd.
I passed the 1-mile mark in 5:27 then mile 2 in 11:02. Yet, despite such a fast pace, I had about a dozen of runners ahead of me. 16:44 by mile 3, almost my best time on 5K! I kept pushing, feeling I could break 35 minutes maybe but, as I was approaching the finish line, I could see the clock showing 34:48 and I still had a few yards to go. My official finish time was 15:06, not too bad after a challenging 50-mile last Saturday in Virginia (JFK) and a fast sub-15-hr 100-mile 12 days ago! And good enough for 8th overall and 2nd Masters (24 seconds behind Mark Yuen). The overall winner this year was Kyle Shackleton in a blazing 31:50. All the results were promptly posted on the RaceCentral website.

I then spent one hour and an half next to the Festival Area main stage to greet other IBMers who participated today (click on the picture to enlarge, or go to my Picasa album for the original).
I managed to see Paul on the start line then, near the IBM Main Stage: Christina, Shawn, Mark, Monique, Bob, Fred, Chia-Lyn, Jovi, Susan, Sheila, a few with friends or family members. For our first official participation, we enlisted about 120 participants, a good number but not enough to compete with the overwhelming Applied Materials flock, the funding and event title sponsor for the past 8 years, which owns the... meadow!

Agnes ended up running the whole 5K, with Greg running ahead.
That was my 4th Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in 4 years (see race reports for 2009, 2010 and 2011) and also my 16th race this year: quite another good season if it wasn't for my fall on the TRT in June and the subsequent 6 weeks off running because of the broken shoulder. I set a few Personal Bests again and won my Age Group in our Ultra Trail Running North California Grand Prix for the 6th year in a row! I'm now looking forward to some rest and easy miles, and already to next year's edition as this is so much fun to give back to the community and "Give Thanks" for the health, friends and blessings we have!

See a few more pictures in my Picasa album.


Derrick said...

Good seeing you John. According to my Garmin watch, the course was 6.3 mile so maybe you broke 35 minutes after all.

Jean Pommier said...

Great to see you again, Derrick, after all these years! My Garmin also indicated 6.31 but it's usually sightly optimistic so I believe the distance was right. Or maybe I/we didn't cut corners enough... ;-)