Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler

I've done a Thanksgiving day race every year for the past 15 years, so I've experienced a lot of different weather conditions, but this was my first race in a significant amount of snow. 

Mother Nature dumped 6-12 inches of wet snow on Maine on Wednesday. Because of the storm, they moved packet pickup to earlier in the day. I went as soon as it opened, but there were still already 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground. As I walked across the parking lot, in my parka, hat, and boots, with snow pelting my face I caught the eye of another runner. We just shook our heads at each other and smiled. To run in the winter in Maine you have to be a little crazy. 

By Thanksgiving morning the snow had stopped and we were left with a beautiful snowy landscape. It was the first time our puppy, Sushi, was in a significant amount of snow and she just loved it. I laughed so hard as I watched her go nuts in the snow. She was rolling, running, digging, and throwing snow. Eventually I had to drag the little snow monster inside so I could leave for the race. 

This was my 4th year running the Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler. It is close to home, cheap, a good size (around a thousand runners), and it is neat to run through the empty streets of the city. 

lots of snow, but not a single car!

​After I parked I debated whether or not to wear my Yaktrax since the streets were plowed (kind of). That question was answered for me when I tried to get out of the car and promptly fell on my butt on the ice. Yaktrax it was!

My only complaint is that One City Center was not open this year with bathrooms. It should be illegal not to provide pre-race bathrooms! Thankfully, Starbucks came to my rescue. If any race organizers read this, please bring back the bathrooms!

I went for a 2 mile warm-up and then wandered around admiring the costumes. The race starts up on Congress street for a few hundred feet and then turns and goes down the big hill on Franklin. The top of the hill was in the sun and so it was just wet. However, halfway down we got into the shade and suddenly the road was really icy and snowy. I saw a lot of people fall and was glad I had my YakTrax. That was how the course went for the rest of the race. In the sun it was just wet, but in the shade it was still very slippery. 

My plan was to run as quickly as I could run safely. I was running this for fun and it was not worth it to get hurt and derail my marathon training. The 2 loops went by really quickly and a few times I found myself laughing out loud at the thoughts in my head. "Ok just have to pass that Pilgrim." "Boy that Turkey is really attacking that hill!" Costume races are so fun. 

I ended up finishing in 33:40, which is about a minute slower than last year. Given the the conditions, I am really happy with my time!

Happy Thanksgiving! Did you race yesterday? Did you get snow?