2012 Silicon Valley Turkey Trot Race Report

November 25, 2012 — 1 Comment

On Thanksgiving, I ran 10K race at the eighth presentation of the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. This annual event, is becoming a big draw in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving morning and actually ended up being named the largest timed Turkey Trot in the nation this year by Race Results Weekly. The main events drew 12,023 finishers for the 5k and 7,912 for the 10k. This was my second SVTT and definitely is a annual tradition for me now – a good way to burn some calories before the afternoon feast!

The weather was perfect: clear and cool. I still wore shorts though, but sported my long sleeve tech shirt from this past Sunday’s Big Sur Half Marathon for warmth. I also wore my lite Lululemon running gloves, which are just right for Bay Area “winter” running.

The course was changed slightly from last year due to issues with finish line congestion and the improvements really made a huge difference. The races started further down Santa Clara Street and the organizers used a self-seeding, corral system – though there were still walkers in front of me (I lined up toward the front of the 8-9 minute pace corral.). After weaving around people for about the first mile, things improved. I’m not sure how/if this can be fixed, so it is what it is.

The finish line change allowed people to run the finish, which was not possible last year with the convergence of the 5 and 10k runners and the proximity to the finish line festival area entrance – the change solved the problem. Things still were crowded heading to the festival, but not as bad as last year and volunteers kept people moving.

The festival looked nice and very organized (tons of water, bananas, etc staffed with volunteers), but I didn’t really stay too long. I did stop and check out one tent about an upcoming race and got to meet and talk with Bob Anderson, founder of Runner’s World Magazine for a bit. He is putting on a race called The Double in Pleasanton next month (hmmm.)

I will say that this years SVTT was excellently staged and the volunteers throughout the course and really the whole event were abundant and very energetic. The free parking was an added benefit! Hats off to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, Applied Materials, and especially to race founders Carl and Leslee Guardino!

My Race


  • Garmin time: 47:57 at an 7:39/mile pace
  • Official time: 47:55 at an 7:43/mile pace


This was an “A-Game” race for me. My goal was to certainly set a new PR (sub-53:30), with a stretch goal of finishing under 50 minutes or a sub-8 minute pace. BOOM – I killed the stretch goal!

I didn’t realize until Monday that this would only be my second 10K, as I’ve been focusing on half marathons for a while – thus the gap between 10K races. I paced myself and finished feeling really good. Even with the “weaving in traffic” aspect of the first mile, I ended up with near negative splits (7:57, 7:41, 7:44, 7:43, 7:41, 7:19, 6:49.) I may have been able to push a little more on miles 4 and 5, but didn’t want to mess things up for the Honolulu Marathon.

Here are some photos I shot:

Lining up!

GOAL: Try to stay in front of as many of these people as I can!

The finish Line. Awesome running weather!

I saw a few costumes, but this one was my favorite. I saw him cross the finish line…dragging the ball, of course!

Pre-race & race-day fuel: With this a short race, I didn’t do any specific, pre-race carb loading. I just followed my normal fat/carb/protein ratio goals and ate a GU before the race and drank 12oz of GU Brew during the race.


Bottom line: Great day. New PR! Proved to myself that I can do sub-8 pacing for shorter distances and feel OK.

Post-race meal: After the race and saying hi to some friends at the festival, I booked to McD’s and brought home some pancakes for my wife and I…that’s my standard, two-order feast!


Training Journal – 11/18/12:

  • Current plan: Honolulu Marathon Training Plan
  • Today’s session: 12 mile long run @ 8:39 – 9:59 pace
  • Comments: I did 12.34 @ 8:32 pace

Weekly mileage: 11/19-25/12:

  • Running: 36.4
  • Bicycling: 0
  • Total: 36.4

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. November 2012 Training Stats | Observations by a Dependent Workman* - December 1, 2012

    […] 11/22: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot (10K) [report] […]

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