The Turkey Trek 5K was a fun way to start Thanksgiving

Vanessa Junkin poses with a turkey, surrounded by hay bales.
It was fun that there was a real turkey at the Turkey Trek this year!
Vanessa Junkin poses for a photo while holding a piece of pumpkin pie in a plastic container. She is wearing and orange shirt and pie leggings.
Here I am with some post-race pie (while wearing pie leggings).

I signed up for the Turkey Trek 5K six days before the race, unsure whether I’d be needed to work. It turned out I didn’t need to work, so I decided to run the annual Thanksgiving race that my work, Wicomico County Recreation & Parks, puts on.

I’ve been at this race for several years, most often as an Eastern Shore Running Club volunteer and once for my job, but it was nice to be able to run with everyone else this year. I’ve run it one other time, in 2020.

I wore my pumpkin pie leggings with a BibRave shirt that matched — some people dress up for the race, and there is an award given for the best costume. I wasn’t going for the award, but what better opportunity would there be to wear the leggings? There were also gift baskets for overall winners and wooden medals for age group winners this year.

While I was able to break the 30-minute mark in a 5K this year with a time of 28:47 at the Run, White and Blue 5K, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do that at the Turkey Trek because of the trail terrain at Pemberton Park. I figured I’d try to run fast for a trail course and see if I could beat my 2020 time.

It was a different experience trying to run fast on the trail, since a couple months prior, I had run 13 5Ks on the same course at the Pemberton 24. Since I was running so many 5Ks, I didn’t try for speed at all during those and did a lot of walking.

My fastest parts of the Turkey Trek run were the beginning, the part that is kind of like a dirt road leading up to the Mile 1 mark, and the end. I finished the first mile in 10:27, a little slower than I’d hoped. I kept pushing and ran the next two miles in 11:11 and 11:05.

To end up with 3.11 on my watch, I ran past the finish line, running the last 0.11 in an average pace of 8:36 and finishing with a time of 33:40 and an average pace of 10:50/mile. My chip time was 33:06, so it wasn’t much different.

Vanessa Junkin holding a baby goat that is wearing pajamas.
Here I am with the baby goat! However, don’t hold it this way — it didn’t like it!

I was a little bit slower than in 2020, but comparing the two Strava segments for this race in 2022 vs. 2020, I was only 20 seconds slower — 32:51 compared to 32:31. While of course I would have preferred to be 20 seconds in the other direction, I’ll take it!

After the race, there were slices of pumpkin pie and apple pie to enjoy, along with photo ops with a real turkey and baby goat. The baby goat was only six days old. So cute!

I promoted this race as part of my job as a marketing and public relations manager for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism, and I was also interviewed twice that morning for local TV stations. Check out the interviews here: 47ABC and Outdoors Delmarva (WBOC).

It seems so long ago, but I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, as well as all the holidays that followed. Happy New Year!


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