Turkeys, Motorcycles, and Running Shoes: The Mazda Raceway Turkey Trot

The idea of running a race on Thanksgiving has always appealed to me -- do something active and healthy before stuffing your face! -- but I've never actually done it until this year.  Alfie found out that one of his favorite motorcycle racetracks, the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, CA, was hosting their second annual Turkey Trot.  It's the ideal race for us, because it's not actually a race; there's no official start time, no one is timed, and there's no pressure to finish at a certain pace.  All you have to do is show up between 7am and 11am, and you can run, walk, skip, crawl, dance, or hop the 2.238-mile circuit.  Wild horses couldn't drag The Pea to an actual race and force her to run, but since everyone could go at their own pace, she willingly came along.   Alfie was beyond excited at the chance to set foot on the actual track where motorcycle legends like Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner race their bikes.  Even better, the $10 fee (just $10, the cheapest ever!) all went to benefit the Food Bank of Monterey.

Laguna Seca is on the Monterey Peninsula, just a few miles from Monterey and Carmel, so we only had to drive about 90 minutes to get there.  We stayed over Wednesday night and woke up early to get to the racetrack.

The weather was perfect for running: not too much sun, no wind, and just a hint of chill that went away as soon as your body warmed up. Alfie started geeking out as soon as his feet touched the track. Even though I don't follow motorcycle racing, I had to admit, it was kind of cool to be able to run on a racetrack.  The inclines are much steeper than they look on tv, and the asphalt is a lot less smooth, and you wonder how those riders manage to stay on their bikes at the speeds they're going!

We walked our first lap together, then the boys and I ran the second lap while Alfie and The Pea walked it.  My heart failed me when I reached the incline at the start of mile 2, and I was forced to run/walk up the hill.  3Po and Jammy, however, ran the entire way, so by the time I crested the hill and made my way down the Corkscrew (the steep, winding, downhill portion of the track where many riders meet their downfall), they were long gone.  They finished about 3 minutes ahead of me. I was so proud of them!  I can't wait to do an actual 5k race with them in 2015!

We enjoyed ourselves so much, we might even make this our new Thanksgiving tradition!

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