Friday, November 28, 2014

10th Silicon Valley Turkey Trot: fast birds ahead!

It was my 6th consecutive Silicon Valley Turkey Trot while this year marked the 10th anniversary of this tradition established by Carl Guardino, the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2005. IBM has been one of the corporate sponsors these past three years which gave me the privilege to volunteer on the Steering Committee of the event and get an insider view on what it takes to organize such a large event gathering 25,000 or so participants and raising close to $1 million this year! (Including 1,100 kids running the Kids Run, the San Jose Mercury News reported today that we set a new record with more than 26,000 entrants!)

At 7:30 am, just between the start of the Elite women and men 5K races (4 Olympians lined up!), I went on stage to say a few words. I highlighted that IBM has been in the Silicon Valley for 71 years and invited all participants to join us in the Festival area after their race for some stretching and quiz.
At 7:50, it was our time to go on the 10K course.
As opposed to Tuesday's Tino (Cupertino High School) 1.4-mile Turkey Trot which we started at 5:05 min/mile pace (!), I made sure to get caught in the super fast start and settled for a 5:35 min/mile pace. Knowing that I will run the grueling Quad Dipsea this Saturday (yes, tomorrow!), I didn't want to give it all anyway and was ok with being passed by a couple of younger guys by mile 3.

Such a fast and flat race doesn't bring much material for a long race report, I don't even know the runners I was running with... Like last year however, I managed to pass the lead woman, Heather Tanner, albeit earlier this year, before the 5-mile mark. I kept pushing and finished in 35:41, better than last year (35:05 in 201035:20 in 201135:06 in 2012 and 36:09 last year). As of this Friday evening, I believe the results still need a few fixes, like dropping a few runners who had registered on the 10K but ran the 5K instead. Short of making the top 10 this year most likely though, I still hope to have made the top 20, and 3rd Masters... Like me, Casey Strange from Campbell turned 50 this year and he clocked a 35:01 so I even missed the win in my age group, yikes! He is probably not going to run Quad Dipsea tomorrow morning though... ;-)

After collecting the very nice finisher medal (see my previous post), I went to the main stage of the Festival area to setup our IBM stretching routine and quiz game. Before we could get on stage, Mark Winitz who had successfully signed 75 world class runners up on the elite 5K invited the top 3 to get on stage for a well-deserved recognition:

On a new course this year,he women race was won by Buze Diriba in 15:33 and the men one by Garett Heath in 13:52, a 4:28 min/mile pace!

Following this award ceremony, Sheila led our stretching exercises and here she is between Agn├Ęs and I:

Also from IBM, Scott had prepared great questions about the Bay Area, the event, Thanksgiving and running in general and close to 40 candidates came on stage to play and win prizes, bringing additional fun to this family event!

We had about 130 participants signed up as IBM but, between the crowd and these activities, it was challenging to all gather for a group picture. Here are three of us, representing three of our San Jose sites: David from Almaden Research Center, Shawn from Silicon Valley Lab on Bailey Avenue and I, from our North San Jose site in Alviso (Sheila being from our bay Area Lab in Foster City, for those wondering where the several thousands of IBMers hide throughout the Bay Area... ;-) ):
After meeting a few other colleagues from the IBM "flock" supporting this event, it was time to return to our families and friends to keep "thanksgiving" on this very special and beautiful day.

See you all next year then for the 11th edition!

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