Over Thanksgiving, we decided to sign up for the Skinny Raven Turkey Trot 5k in Anchorage, Alaska. I’d never done a Turkey Trot before, so I was really excited. And JOHN SIGNED UP TOO! This is big you guys. John rarely chooses to run with me, so it was double exciting. He has raced Spartan and Tough Mudder-type races before, but this was his first running race. John’s sister, Katie (super fast!), is the one who found the race & I had never gotten to run with her. So, all the good things going on here.
As we drove in, the temp on the car read 1 degree. ONE. Singular. Fahrenheit. The sun doesn’t come up until later in the day this time of year in Alaska, so the race started later, at 10:30. We drove in, picked up our bibs and tech tees, and put on YakTraks. By the time we started, it had “warmed up” a bit – to about 11 degrees.
Katie and I, who both run cold and had been running in 5 degrees earlier that week – may have encouraged John to dress way warmer than we should have. He said he was overheating from about mile 1. I tried to get him to write me a race recap of his own, but all he said was, “It was running and I was sweaty.”
(Katie and I were VERY concerned about John’s ankles being exposed to the elements and convinced him to put on long wool socks and ski pants after this was taken.)
The route was a loop around downtown Anchorage. It had a downhill in the beginning and an incline in mile 2, before flattening out for mile 3. Some of the times the winners ran were so so fast. Especially impressive to me with the inclines and the conditions.
Everyone racing was so enthusiastic and so were the spectators. The race was really well attended – the start corral was the most jumping and yelling I’ve ever seen, and that’s with the Chicago Marathon of 50k runners haha!
The finish chute turned off the road and we ended up inside the convention center. That was fun because there was music and a red carpet. I was a little nervous about running from the snow, to the icy pavement, to the carpet – it seemed like a good opportunity for me to trip or fall, especially with YakTrax on. But we made it all right haha.
I had tucked my braids into my coat, but the little strand of hair that escaped definitely had frost on it. Wearing sunglasses helped my eyelashes not freeze though!
We perfectly negative split each mile and took it easy because it was SO. COLD. The roads were quite snowy and icy, but the YakTrax held up really well. The only bummer was that by the time we were done, I was finally warm hahaha.
The finish chute! I got this from Skinny Raven’s website. If you are ever in Alaska, look them up for SURE. I love their store.
All in all, it was a really well run race, and we had a great time! 10/10 I would do another one of their events again.
Two things that I learned at this race:
- Tucking your shirt in while running in the cold makes a HUGE difference in staying warm.
- The races in Alaska use the GUN time and not the CHIP time! I’d never heard of this.
Have you ever run a race in the cold?