The last time I was in Louisville for Thanksgiving was 2010 when I discovered Iroquois Hill Runners’ 5 Mile Thanksgiving Day Run. It was raining but warm that year and this year’s race day weather was the exact opposite. When racing in KY I usually come out on top of my running buddies in Chicago in the colder months but not this year. Although it was sunny, which helped immensely, it was 24* at the start for moi and 27* for my Chicago friends.
The other difference of running in Louisville is the hills. Oh the hills. This 5 mile race hits you with that difference immediately after the gun goes off. The first 2 miles are up a winding hill and the thing about winding hills is they seem to NEVER end. It was cold and I could feel it in my lungs as I gasped getting my legs used to the incline. There was a band just before the first mile and I still wonder how they were playing their guitars with frozen fingers.
After you get to the top mile 3 is more rolling and nothing drastic. The views are so refreshing compared to the pancake flat Chicago scenery and since there are no leaves on the trees, but plenty to shuffle through on the road, you can see so much from the top of the park. There weren’t many costumes but one girl was running in a cooking apron which was cute. Once you get to the 3 mile mark you know you’re golden with the 2 remaining miles being downhill. I let my legs fly and felt like I was somehow cheating since gravity was doing the dirty work. Then I reminded myself the work I put in going up and my conscience was at ease.
I was happy to see the band was still there at mile 4.2 and not frozen to death, although they were playing a slow song so maybe they were subliminally screaming for help? The road somewhat flattened out and I tried to pick up my pace and catch the girl, seemingly 26-29, just ahead of me. I nearly had her but remembered we don’t turn into the lot where we started but had roughly .4 to go and that my pace was not going to be maintainable without puking. I held on as much I could, glanced when I heard my mom cheering and went through the chute on the heels of unknown F26-29. I thanked her for pushing me at the end and we “good race”‘d each other and went our separate ways. There’s no chip timing and results aren’t posted yet, but I finished around 37:15 and the card I was handed going through the female’s chute was 19 so I believe I finished 19th female. Don’t worry, there will be updates.
The sun felt great now and it was inching closer to 30*! Mom and I headed towards the car but stopped for a quick photo op with my other love.