1674. No, it's not when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Nor is it my top score on Pole Position. 1674 is the place I finished in the 7th Annual Chris Dailey Foundation Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in Saratoga, NY. Out of 1888 runners, i finished 1674. That means that I actually beat 214 runners!
It was a brisk 30 degrees on Thanksgiving morning as we waited for the starting gun to fire. The first 1.3 miles of the race was uphill. It was at about the .03 mile marker that I began questioning why i registered for this torturous experience. At about the .06 mile marker, I looked to my right and an eldery gentleman, passed me like I was standing still. I kid you not, the guy was probably in his mid 70's. As embarrassment settled in and shame was fast approaching, I made it to the Skidmore College campus. As I turned into the campus, I was greeted with another steep hill.
As i settled into a comfortable, yet slow pace, a couple of young college girls were coming up on my left. Trying desperately to avoid further embarrassment, I picked up my pace so as to avoid them laughing at how slow I was moving. After these girls passed, I immediately slowed back down to my turtle pace.
With the 2 mile marker well within my sights, i was about to exit the Skidmore campus. It was at that time that shame had reached an all time high. In the corner of my eye, I saw this large feathered human/bird hybrid. Yup, I was then passed by a woman running in a full turkey costume.
As I shoveled up my self esteem off the pavement, I continued toward the finish line. With friends and family cheering me on, I finished the race in 46 minutes. As I talked with my friend Jay, the winning time was re-announced to the crowd. The winner of the race completed it in 15 minutes. Using my accelerated math skills, I quickly realized that the winner could have run that race three times and still beat me.
But, I was surrounded by people who were celebrating the fact that we all finished and had fun. Shame and embarrassment was quickly replaced with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Until, of course, the race results were posted online and I saw that a 90 year old man had beat me.
So, to recap, I was beat by a 75 year old man, a 90 year old man, and a human sized turkey-woman. Good times.
(pictured above: my friend Jay, me, my wife Jo Marie, my sister Karen and my brother in law Chris....Thanks guys, I actually had a great time!)