Thanksgiving Day seems like ages ago already, but I am still on cloud nine about my Turkey Trot finish time. Now 37:49 is likely slow for a 5k to most runners reading this, but that is my fastest 5k time since 2017!!!
In 2020 I just ran a virtual Turkey Trot due to Covid and I think all of the local Turkey Trots were virtual last year too, so it was nice to have an in-person option close to home. The race started and ended in Stacy Park in Olivette, which is near my home and my work. This park is very easy to get to since it is just off of Olive Boulevard between I-170 and I-270.
Before Covid I had run the Turkey Trot downtown, the St. Charles Turkey Trot, and the black Friday Turkey Trot in Town and Country. The Olivette Turkey Trot is technically the closest race course to my home, so it has been on my radar for years and I was happy to finally be able to run it. Packet pick-up was held on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving at Olivette City Hall. Since I picked up my packet on Tuesday, it wasn't busy at all. There was also a race day option for packet pick-up. Swag included a long sleeved blue tech shirt and you had the option to purchase previous years shirts for $5, which I took advantage of again.
I often run and walk in Stacy Park, so I knew that it had a small parking lot and I wasn't sure where overflow parking would be, so I arrived around 7:10 a.m. to ensure that I would snag a parking spot. Upon arrival, several Olivette fire trucks and police vehicles were already on-site and the music was going. The mayor was present as was our St. Louis County Executive (he's become locally famous during Covid). Hot chocolate, coffee, and tea were available adjacent to race day packet pick-up and there were plenty of porta-potties available in addition to the park's permanent restrooms. Stacy Park has a nice walking path, and I saw plenty of people warming up before the race. As the parking lot filled up, I realized that overflow parking was being directed to the grass in between the ball fields but I loved that I was able to park right at the start/finish line. As a result, I was able to stay in my warm car until five minutes before the race started.
The race course was basically one large loop with a few small hills. I was so pumped about this race that I didn't even switch over to my intervals until about halfway through the race. I just got into a good pace and was fueled by all the people around me. The other runners and walkers were people of all ages and abilities, a lot of strollers, and lots of dogs. Spectators along the course were friendly and were cheering us on, despite the cold morning. Waiting at the finish line were snacks like hot chocolate, coffee, tea, water, beer, bloody mary's, and chips. The Olivette police department opened a separate exit for people to be able to easily leave the park, and it was actually a breeze leaving the park which is one problem I came across at the downtown and St. Charles Turkey Trots. I would highly recommend this race to anyone living or visiting the St. Louis area for Thanksgiving. It really was a great race!
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