Attempted Runner.

Race Recap: Brazen Racing – Nitro Turkey

I sometimes would prefer to be like millions of other people on Thanksgiving morning by sleeping in and being all warm and toasty in winter (fleece) bedsheets.

Then, I remember I don’t want to be like millions of other people on Thanksgiving and I prefer to wake up at 6:00am for a 5k run….trail run at that!

Brazen Racing holds an annual Thanksgiving Run (Nitro Turkey) then another run the following Saturday (Quarry Turkey). The first year (2011), I only did the Thanksgiving day run. It was one of my first real trail runs, as there was mud and twigs and hills. I took it in stride and by the very first turn (.20 miles) I got shin splints. I was heavier, not in very good shape and was miserable.



Around the mile marker was a hill that I thought went up for days. When I reached the top, I could barley breath. I didn’t enjoy myself one bit and was glad it was over….48 minutes later. Needless to say, I didn’t sign up in 2012.

Soon 2013 rolls around. I’m less heavy, I’m a little more physical fit, so not only did I sign up for Nitro Turkey, but I also signed up for Quarry. What was I thinking?

Thanksgiving morning rolls around and I wake up to get ready, with my biggest decision, as always, of what to wear. I really have a hard time deciding between capris or shorts (I’ve said it a million times, I get really hot). I guess I normally wouldnt really question it, but the weather said 40°. That made me hesitant, so after much dilibration over breakfast (I’m thankful for my breakfast sandwich maker), I put on my shorts/long sleeve shirt and headed out the door.

Due to the location of Nitro Turkey, I didn’t have to pick up J, as she was going to meet me there. Kinda boring driving to a race by myself, but it did give me at least an hour extra of sleep, so I won’t complain.

I reach the park, find J, give my donation to the food bank collectors and we made it to the starting corrals for enough time to use the porta potty :::gasp!!:::. I’m thankful for clean porta pottys. We then went over to go watch the little turkeys.


Nitro [turkey] competes against all the littles and usually comes in last. I think its rigged because he stopped on the course, high fived a few spectators, waited for the last two littles to pass and then slowly sauntered to the finish. He does a good deed. No child ever wants to be in last place….maybe no runner ever wants to be in last place.

These were the last two littles. Nitro made the one in the red cry because he frightened her and the little guy….He was the most adorable guy out there. I was thankful that he was precious.

After the littles got their finisher medals, it was time for the bigs to get into the corrals. This race only was a 5 & 10k (I say only since Brazen typically has a 5k, 10k and half marathon option….I’m thankful for Brazen Racing) and rather than staggering us for the start, both groups went at once. It wasn’t any different than having just the 5k group go all at once though. Brazen had a smaller limit for participants for Nitro and I think the size of both 5k and 10k runners was probably the typical size of the normal indivial 5,10,1/2 groups. I’m use to that size of corral and the trails were the size of a fire road for a good chunk.

…and I forgot where I was going with this….

So, as were waiting to start…

Side note: if you’re reading this, D from WCR ruining your PR average to run with your little boy, [I’m thankful you ran with him] I think I saw you with your shamrock hat, but you said you were a “big” guy….I didn’t see a big guy, I saw a fit guy. I couldn’t see your bib for your name to verify and then you dissapeared. That’s why I didn’t say hi. Not that you were wondering.)

…I told myself that I was going to go easy on this run. Its only the third run since my knee started feeling better and I didn’t want to push it. I also was going to take it easy because I didn’t want to kill myself trying to make it up that giant hill that I remebered. I was conserving energy. I was also testing out my new knees band to see if it helped more than the knee brace.

I have a tendency to name inanimate objects, and my knee band was no exception. I named him Ferris.

Ha. See what I did there?

I’m thankful for puns.

Mr. Brazen (Sam) does the count down for go time and when Mrs. Brazen tooted the air horn, I set off. It was a little slow going at the start because there were a lot of slow pokes (I’m a slow poke to most people too. Don’t worry, I don’t judge you slower pokes) and I think I went too far back in the corral. It did make for a motivational booster though when I passed all of them though. I am thankful for feeling like a speed demon!

I caught up to J and she asked how my bones were doing (.10 miles in. HA!). At that point, I was still doing ok but my right Achilles heel area felt sore. I think it was just because I did my downward dog a little too much doing my pre race yoga night ritual….I’m thankful that I can get my feet to lay flat now on my downward dog!

I run down the first hill and kept a 12 min. pace time for the first mile. It was reletively flat so…I’m thankful that it was easy.

Then….THEN! I arrive at the base of the “giant hill that went for days” from 2011. I didn’t stop running and tried to run up it. The hill was nothing like I rembered or imaginged it being. It went up, but wasn’t steep. It only went up for about .20-.30 miles and flattened out for another .20-.30 miles then went up another .10-.20 miles before we went to the down hill/flat portions. I ran up the entire first up portion and when it flattened, I walked so I could drink some water and let my ashonishment sink in on how out of shape I was…or how much I’ve improved, depending on how you want to look at it. I’m thankful that I see it as how much I’ve improved my health.

I ran up the second part of the hill and walked the down! Don’t laugh, I was worried about my knee! I reached the aid station but skipped it only because people were crowding around it (I think those were the people who only do one run the entire year and not know race etiquette. I’ve read somewhere that turkey trots are the most registered for events….makes sense. Let’s people not feel guilty when eating the entire pumpkin pie.). They were crowding around probably for the food. Brazen aid stations, no matter the mile marker, usually have oranges, bananas, mikes & ikes, gummy bears, m&ms, etc. There usually are Gu packs for the 10k and halfs at all aid stations after the second aid station. Another reason why Brazens awesome. I repeat, I’m thankful for Brazen.  They also didn’t have the water cups filled. The volunteers were trying hard to keep up with the demand (I’m thankful for volunteers), but since I had my water, I just past it and left it for someone behind me who went up the hill like I did in 2011. They probably needed it more than I.

I started my run again and since this is around the time my knee usually acts up, I rotated between my jogs and walks. I walked up another little hill, I walked a down, I didn’t rush anything and took in the eucalyptus scenery. I wasn’t really paying attention to my distance on Garfield, so I just kept trucking along until I heard Mr. Brazen on the loud speaker and knew I was getting close.
I made it to the open space and just ran Tue rest. I was getting tired, because apparently real trail runs are more exhausting to navigate over than on asphault, and soon enough I made it to the finish line.

The course was marked out at 3.2 miles I think, but both J’s and my Garmins read 3.36 miles (I’m thankful for Garfield). I finished in 43 minutes. I took it “easy” and still beat my old time by 5 minutes! I also got my fancy part one medal. See the upcomming Quarry Turkey Race Recap for a picture.

I did a knee check and they weren’t hurting at all and that was when Ferris Mueller (get my joke now?) became my best friend. I’m thankful for Mueller….Ferris Mueller. (How about now?)

J sprained her ankle again like she normally does….

Side note: I still think you should brace it better on rough/loose/gravely terrain runs.

….and we tried to get some ice, but they didn’t have any.  After getting some snacks, we sat down for a minute to see if that would help her ankle. At this time, my knees started to feel a little sore but I didn’t pay much attention.

We ended up leaving shortly after. We both had to get home and make a dish for our Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Fast forward to post Thanksgiving dinner and sitting around waiting for the family to bring out the pies. My dad made his very first gluten free apple pie just for me….yes, J it was just for me. I’m thankful that my dad understands my gluten intolerance, and although makes jokes about it, still tries to accomodate me. Well…while I was sitting there, I realized my knees were really sore. I don’t know if it was after math from the run, or just because I did the run and then was pretty much on my feet until around 5pm. Maybe even a combination of both. So, I ended up getting my pie to go and we left a little early. I was thankful for my bed that night.



6 Comments so far
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It’s okay if the pie was for you. I still ate it.

Comment by Runningfromitall

Ha. That was likely me. Sorry I went into stealth mode.

To be fair, I’m not really that big any more 🙂

Bummer I didn’t run into you, but I’ll be at Brazen NYE and NYD doing the half. I’ll be wearing the same hat.

BTW, I’m thankful for my little boy who, at age 3, killed the course; my wife who set a 5k PR, and for my friend Elena who volunteered at the 5k aid station.

Great race report!

Comment by Big D

I’ll keep an eye out on NYE/D. I think your wife was a few seconds head of me (Im not a stalker. I’m with you on Twitter and put the name together). Good job for her and your son too! And Elena too. We can’t have brazen without people like her.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Speaking of my friend Elena, she and her husband, Mark, have a running podcast called Embrace Running (stop reading here if you already listen). Anyhow, they’re really cool and the podcast is excellent. Since they live in the Bay Area they are always talking about trails (e.g. Iron Horse) and races (basically anything Brazen) that you’ve probably run yourself. I know they love listener feedback so I often send them my race results and photos.

Comment by Big D

Oh that’s neat. I’ll have to check it out.

Comment by Attempted Runner

[…] Race Recap: Brazen Racing – Nitro Turkey […]

Pingback by Race Recap: Brazen Racing – Quarry Turkey | Attempted Runner.

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