As I'm about to settle into my Thanksgiving night tradition of watching the Jimmy Stewart classic, I'm reminded that it truly is a wonderful life we enjoy here in this great country. My most pressing concern over the last day or two was not how I am going to feed my family or find shelter for the night. It was about which Turkey Trot to run on Thanksgiving morning. There were dozens of choices in the area.
Yeah, we've got it pretty good. And I'm truly thankful for that. So that's why I decided to leave my comfort zone (well, sort of) by taking a pass on the huge 5k in my hometown of Elmhurst, to head to Lincoln Park where I had the chance to help raise money for the Chicago Food Pantry.
The Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day run is also huge. And the when they asked me to do it, I couldn't say no. The concept sounded fun, and a bit challenging. They asked me to dress in a Turkey costume, wait until the last runner crossed the starting line, then start the race. Lifetime Fitness and Fleet Feet Sports would then donate a dollar for every runner I passed.
Now that's right up my alley. When I'm in shape, I generally finish most big 5k races in the area somewhere near the top 10-20% of the finishers. And since there were several thousand runners entered, I had the chance to help out the Food Pantry with a big donation. It sounded like a lock. Except for the Turkey costume part.
That turned out to be a bit of a challenge. First of all, it was fairly heavy. And the big wings on the back were not exactly aerodynamic. Finally, in order to pass people from the back, I would have to weave my way through a lot of walkers, and those pushing strollers.
Well those are the excuses I'm going with anyway!
I had the pleasure of running with Kye Martin, NBC-5's morning traffic person. She was dressed as 'Tina Turkey', while I was 'Tom Turkey'. We had fun cheering the runners at the starting line, offering them high fives, and warning them we were coming after them!
Then, finally, the last wave crossed, and it was our turn to go! We took off, well, rambled off, and tried to start running in our costumes. Kye got into into character a bit by chanting 'gobble, gobble' as we passed runners. I told her I felt like the main character in the pac-man game!
This was definitely easier than helping angel Clarence get his wings in the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life'. But it was not as easy as I expected. I failed to start my watch when we began running, so I was really flying (or waddling) blind on the course. I felt like I was running a fairly easy pace, maybe close to 8:00/mile. But when I looked it up tonight, the timing chip said I was actually about 2 minutes/mile slower than that.
I guess the clock, or timing chip, doesn't lie! Regardless, it was fun, and the Food Pantry still got a nice donation. And it's still a Wonderful Life!
See you on the roads.......