2013 Silicon Valley Turkey Trot Race Report

December 2, 2013 — 1 Comment


On Thanksgiving, I ran the 10K distance at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. This was my third time running this annual event, which has become one of the largest timed Turkey Trots in the US. The event has several races, but the main events drew 11,823 finishers for the 5k and 7,509 for the 10k – by my calculations, 200 and 403 less than 2012 (respectively.)  Still, I great crowd of people!

The weather was perfect: just a touch of high clouds and cool (46 degrees at start time), with no wind. I wore shorts, but sported my arm warmers.  Doesn’t get any better than that!

courseThe course started at the intersection of Santa Clara and Market in downtown San Jose and made its way around downtown, out on the Alameda, near the edge of the Rose Garden neighborhood, then back toward downtown, finishing just east of the SAP Center.  It’s a flat course, unless one counts the train underpass near the SAP Center.

The post-race festival was great and very organized – tons of water, bananas, etc and staffed with quite a few volunteers.  I didn’t really stay too long. I grabbed a some SWAG, browsed quickly, picked up the requisite Sports Basement coupon, and then headed home.  Mission accomplished – the next mission awaited: PANCAKES!!!

My Race


  • Garmin time: 46:38 at an 7:23/mile pace [pace delta due to gps distance of 6.3]
  • Official time: 46:39 at an 7:31/mile pace
  • Standings: 1st among 3 10Ks
  • Strava



I’ll lay this right out there: My goal for the race was to set a new PR.  So, anything under 47:55 would be success.

To that end, I was all business for this one.  I got to the parking lot about an hour and a half early and just waited in my car keeping warm until about 40 minutes from start time.  My plan was to:

  • Stop by a porta potty
  • Take my “start line” photo
  • Do some warm up strides along a side street
  • Find a spot in the 7-8 minute per mile corral
  • Wait
  • Then GO!

Everything went according to plan…no deviations.  I was mission-minded…

My corral selection was made after learning from last year: In a large race like this, when allowed to self-seed, people go toward the front or to a corral that is faster than they are.  Last year, I observed that many of the people in the 7-8 corral probably should have been in the 9 minute and above corrals.  My plan: If I wanted to avoid weaving in and out of traffic and have a faster start and overall time, I needed to move up!  So, that is what I did – and I still ended up weaving around people…just not as much as it could have been if I seeded in the 8-9 minute corral, playing it safe.

For the first mile, I wanted to maintain at least an 8-minute pace to conserve my energy and allow for start line crowd weaving – yeah right.  Here’s how the race went down:

  • When the first mile beeped on my Garmin, it read a 7:30 average pace…gulp.  Don’t screw this up Dennis.  I knew that I needed to finish with better than a 7:43 pace overall, so that was where I wanted to stay close to on my pacing.
  • Mile 2 beep: 7:25.  Dennis, DO NOT screw this up.
  • Mile 3 beep: 7:27.  Dennis, half way there, you can back off just a bit – don’t blow this.
  • Mile 4 beep: 7:27.  OK, I’m pacing OK and am not really tiring.  Keep it going – keep it steady.
  • Mile 5 beep: 7:29.  OK, still in control…still feeling good…still under 7:43.  Feel free to kick it if you can!
  • Mile 6 beep: 7:14.  WEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Finish line: 46:38.  BOOYAH!!!!

Mission accomplished – a new PR…by 1:16!  GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

Pre-race & race-day fuel: I didn’t do any specific, pre-race carb loading. I just followed my normal fat/carb/protein ratio goals leading up to the race, didn’t eat anything ahead of the race, and ate a GU  and took a salt cap before the race.  As far as liquids, I have been training the past month to run six to seven miles without fluids.  I usually carry a water bottle when I run, but didn’t this time, since I felt comfortable without it at shorter distances.  My plan was to grab a water, if I needed it, at one of the aid stations.  I didn’t need it, so I was glad I left the handheld at home.


  • Bottom line: A new 10K PR – ‘nuf said!  OK, I’m also, very happy with my placing…even though I race against myself.
  • Post-race meal: Short stack of buttermilk pancakes and two scrambled eggs!


Training Journal – 12/2/12:

  • Current plan: ZRQL Marathon Training Plan – Taper Week 2 of 3
  • Today’s session: 20-mile ride
  • Comments: I rode for 1:22:01 for 23.3 miles @ 17.1 mph avg & avg cadence of 84 [Strava]

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. November 2013 Training Stats « DENNARR(dot)COM - December 3, 2013

    […] 11/28: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K [report] […]

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