Mansfield Lexington Turkey Trot Half Marathon, 10K, And 5K
Finish Time: 46:53
Overall Place 3rd Place / 35
Division Place: 1st Place / 1
Race Recap By Scott Orlando
This was my 5th year in a row running the Mansfield Lexington Turkey Trot. I again elected to compete in the 10K feeling like it was the sweet spot between the short 5K and longer half marathon. The race time temperatures were threatening to be cold and windy but actually ended up being very pleasant. I had lots of cold weather racing gear ready to go but didn’t use any of it. The sun was shining, the wind was tolerable, and temperatures were warmer than predicted in the high 30’s. i went with a running kit of a base layer, long sleeve tech shirt, running cap, running tights, SPIBelt, and gloves. I was more than comfortable.
This year’s race field was a little smaller than last year with 5 less runners in the 5K, 10 less runners in the 10K, and 7 less runners in the half marathon. Race day registration was much faster than last year which delayed the race because of long lines created by many runners showing up late to packet pick up. I took advantage of early pick up the night before the race so I would have one less thing to stress about in the morning.
It was now time to race. We were all lined up on the paved bike trail ready for the all trail out and back course. The gun fired and we were off. I got off to a fast start. My first half mile split I was at a 6:40 mile pace. I dialed it down and settled in completing the first mile right at 7:00 minutes. Still thinking i was starting too fast I slowed my pace down even more and tried to stay in the 7:20’s. Because all three race distances are running at the same time you aren’t really sure who you are competing against until the turnaround points. Most of the runners including a majority of the faster runners hit the turnaround point for the 5K leaving just the half marathon and 10K runners continuing down the trail. Based on who I saw make the turnaround for the 5K I felt like I was near the front of the 10K field and maybe even leading but I wouldn’t know for sure my position until the 10K turnaround point. The course was pretty spread out for the remaining 10K and half marathon runners. There was one runner however that was just behind me all the way to the turnaround point. I identified him as a 10K runner so I knew I had some competition pushing me from behind. Each time I felt him get close to me I pushed my pace a little to try to create some distance and break his spirit but he kept creeping back behind me. As I approached the turnaround I now knew i was firmly in 3rd place overall. There were 2 very fast strong younger runners with a substantial lead on me. Now I knew I was battling for 3rd place. I maintained a slight lead on the runner just behind me. Instead of waiting for him to make a late race move I pushed hard and fast in the middle miles again trying to create distance and break his spirit. The strategy seemed to work as I continued to increase my lead on him. I pushed hard the last mile making it my 2nd fastest mile of the race (the first mile was my fastest) and beating him by about 25 seconds to finish 3rd overall. I was feeling really good and according to my watch beat last year’s time. I was surprised when i saw the final results which had my gun time faster than my chip time showing i was actually slower than last year. This left me confused as it is not possible to have a chip time slower than the gun time. It didn’t change my placing but it was very odd. Later in the day the race timer must have realized a problem as the chip times were adjusted giving me a finish time equal to my chip time of 46:53. This finish time was within 1 second of my finish time from last year so I was still a little confused at the official time based on my watch data. I was probably in the 4th row of runners near the front at the start. For my gun and chip time to be exactly the same i had to have been crossing the start mat at the exact time the gun went off. There was probably a 5-10 second difference between the gun going off and when I crossed the mat. My watch data is also showing my distance covered was 6,37 miles compared to 6.26 miles from last year. The start appeared to be at the same location so maybe the turnaround point was a little farther this year. The longer distance and strange chip time probably explain why my watch data shows a faster race with nearly the exact same finish time as last year. Again my finish time did not effect my overall or division place so it doesn’t really concern me much i just found it all interesting.
The race was once again very well organized by USA Race Timing And Event Management. The race swag was awesome I chose the upgraded premium hoodie which was a beautiful moss green color. Runners also received finisher medals, mini pies, samples of Shave Secret shave oil, Fizz Tabs, LMNT drink mix, Gatorade Fast Twitch and lots of post race snack items. Some years there have been overall awards but there have never been awards for age group winners. Age group winners are noted on the internet results though. I asked the race director if there were awards this year for overall top 3 finishers. He looked at me and said yes then proceeded to give me a case of Gatorade Fast Twitch. He laughed and said there really weren’t overall awards this year but he recognized me from the previous years and wanted to give me something. I really enjoy this race with the scenic out and back flat course, distance options, race swag, and friendly people. It is a great race for families, walkers, and elite fast runners. This race has become a tradition for me so I am sure i will be back again next year.