On Thanksgiving Day, my family and I participated in the Run Thru The Woods in the morning. It had been a while since I had run a Thanksgiving Day race, and I had missed the fun run start to the holiday. I’m grateful my family was game for the fun too!
Race day eve was pretty interesting. We had been out seeing the sights in the afternoon and opted to stop and eat dinner out at the Loose Caboose (BBQ restaurant)… my nieces and I opted for a baked potato with cheese. We had a fun trip to Wal-Mart afterwards, then headed home to get our stuff ready for the next day. I ended up staying up and baking the carrot cake and doing some meal preps for the next day.
Race day morning came pretty early (especially since I didn’t get to sleep until around midnight)! I really enjoy running at an even close to the house, it allows for a little extra snooze time. I wasn’t super hungry so just had a cup of yerba mate for some wake-up energy, I was going to bring a Larabar with me to nibble on, but forgot it. We were all loaded up and on the road by 6:30 and got primo parking spots.
It was a cold 48 degrees (my family informed me that 48 is not cold), and a beautiful clear day. We were there in plenty of time, and sat in the warm van for a while. We stopped to use a port-a-can in the parking lot, but after waiting in line, we found that it was out of toilet paper (boo!).
At the start it wasn’t too crowded. We got there just in time for the kids 1 mile run… it’s so fun to watch the little ones running their hearts out. We managed to get in a selfie of all of us runners/walkers at the starting line.
My sis and I made our way to the port-a-cans and then I went to line up for my event. There were about 1,200 people running the 5 mile run. I lined up somewhere in the middle. They said a prayer, then The Star Spangled Banner was sung, and we were off shortly after and on time.
The race course ran through The Woodlands area near the mall, Market Street, Lake Woodlands and then a commercial area. The course was mostly flat except for the bridge that went over part of the lake. There were 4 well-manned water stops, I know they had water, not sure about Gatorade.
I really didn’t have any set goals for this race, I wanted to get around 47:00. I started out at fast/comfortable pace for me … I had what seemed to be a headache starting and I cursed myself for forgetting that Larabar, and my sunglasses. They had someone at each mile with a stopwatch shouting out the split times … that made me giggle a little … recalling races back in the day when that was common. I had a good run, but was happy to near the end and I stepped up my pace for the final go to the finish. I heard my mom and brother in law cheering for me as I neared the finish line and gave them a wave.
I finished at 44:02 … I was surprised at the speediness until I looked down at my Garmin and the distance was only 4.88 miles. My splits were all over the place (9:20/8:56/9:05/9:09/7:38). I think I should add a minute or so onto the last mile for it to be at an even 5.
After I crossed the finish line and picked up my medal, I jogged over to the end of 3 mile course to find my nieces and nephew and cheer them on. I ran into Rebekah and Steven right away… Hannah had left them in the dust. I ran into the finish with them… well, mainly Steven because Rebekah took off like she had rocket fuel when she saw the finish line!
We collected their medals and started looking around for the others so that we could cheer on my sis who was doing the 3 mile walk. I’m sad to report that we missed her… there was a different finish line for the walkers! We finally found her and posed for a finish line photo.
Afterwards, we headed over to the after-party for pancakes! I’m not a big pancake fan, but I had no problem finishing mine and going back for seconds.
The Run Thru The Woods is a well organized run. They had 4 events that day and they seemed to be very well staged. After the kids 1 mile was finished. the events were staggered to start 10 minutes apart. It was well attended, from what I could see from the results there were about 1,200 participants in each of the runs… I’m not sure how many walkers there were, but it seemed like a lot. The pancake breakfast got a thumbs-up from my entire crew.