Rockland Road Runners 5 mile Turkey Trot is a new race for me. In 2008 and 2009 I ran the Dick Meighan Memorial Run in Upper Saddle River, NJ. My friend MB is new to running who has been extending his distance after several successful 5ks.On the way up to the race I told MB that I run with him and get him across the finish line of his first 5 mile road race. He said I should run my own race and try for a new 5 mile PR (current 5 mile PR is 36:55). I told him that Turkey Trots are about having fun and that there will be other opportunities to go after a new PR. Today was not that day. We came through the first mile in 9:34. I paid attention to MB's breathing to get a sense of how he was feeling. So far so good. Our mile 2 split was 8:50, much quicker than expected because of the long downhill. Between mile 2 and 3 I could sense that MB was having some problems, his breathing became more labored and he started to lag behind me even though I was running at a 9+ minute pace. Just passed mile 3, I turned around and MB was pretty far behind me. He told me to go and finish at my pace. I took off and hammered the last 2 miles, 7:40, 7:05. Once I finished I made my way back to the final straightaway and waited for MB. I cheered him on as he ran towards the finish and congratulated him after he crossed. He said he felt good but the last mile was tough. we grabbed some post race refreshments and then headed home.
This race left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling for the rest of the day. It was great to see a close friend who is new to running finish his first race at a longer distance. Congrats MB and keep it up!
Thank you to the Rockland Road Runners, the volunteers, police and EMS for a great race experience. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.