|Pre-race with "Tom"|
Since I know later in the day, I'll be feasting on a huge meal, it feels good to burn some calories in anticipation. ( I tell folks I'm making space for the new fat cells)
|No race numbers - just Gobble, gobble, gobble!|
The race takes place outside the Oregon Zoo. Runners are directed down a long, steep hill for two miles. Upon reaching the Japanese Gardens, everyone turns around and runs back up this same hill. The last quarter mile or so is run through the zoo itself, finishing near the elephant exhibit.
|Lots of great turkey hats!|
Last Thursday morning dawned, clear, chilly and dry (unusual for Portland in late November). Packet pick up was held inside one of the World Forestry Center Buildings. After getting my race bib and stowing my jacket, I hung out inside, trying to stay warm as long as possible.
|Sunrise over the porta-potties|
But....nature was calling so ventured outside to hit the porta-potties. While standing in line, I got a chance to check out all the fun holiday attire. One of the great things about this run is seeing the participant's numerous turkey-themed costumes.
|These great hats looked homemade|
This group all had matching crocheted turkey hats. Super-cute!
|A pumpkin pie hat!|
This lady had a hat shaped like a slice of pumpkin pie. Most of the hats here are some sort of turkey theme. This was the first time I'd seen headwear that highlighted some other part of the Thanksgiving meal.
|These young ladies get in the spirit of things|
Loved these young ladies costumes! Turkey feather tu-tus and matching "gobble" shirts.
|My favorite costume of the day!|
But this guy's costume was my very favorite. He dressed up as a box of stuffing! It looked like a difficult thing to run in, but when I saw him during the race, he was near the front of the pack.
|Running downhill through Washington Park|
Everyone lined up, the announcer counted down, and instead of "go" we all yelled "gobble, gobble, gobble!" The pack took off, down the long, steep hill. Running downhill does nothing to warm you up, and it wasn't until I turned around and headed back up that my body finally began to thaw.
|The zoo entrance|
This hill is a doozy! It's very steep in parts and just moderately steep in others. My goal was to run up the entire hill without stopping. It was tough, but I did it. I kept promising myself this would entitle me to a huge piece of pie. Finally, our course topped out and a short, sweet downhill led runners to the zoo entrance.
|Even Elvis was there!|
Where Elvis greeted each runner as they passed by. Now came my most favorite part of the trot - running through the zoo. When else does one get to run a race inside a zoo?
|Yahoo - the finish line!|
I enjoyed the final leg of my journey - taking in the sights until the finish line came into view. Although the race is timed, it's non-competitive. I ran without my trusty Garmin, and didn't pay attention to the clock as I crossed the finish. Today, I ran for the exercise, fun, and to burn some calories so I could pig out later.
|More great turkey hats|
After a drink of water and a banana, I decided to check out the nearby elephant exhibit. Then, as I was wandering back to the zoo entrance, I spotted a couple of ladies modeling cute turkey hats. They graciously allowed me to take a picture. Next year, I need to find myself a clever turkey hat such as theirs.
A great way to begin Thanksgiving morning, I was back home with a Starbucks tea in my hand, before 10:00. Okay - time to bring on the food!