“Run – Race – Eat a hella bunch of tofurkey after!”
The Absolute “Must Run” 10k Race
Today, I ran the Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k for the fourth time in a row. As if it were even possible, 2017 did not disappoint! What an amazing 10k race experience! The Turkey Trot is arguably the best event put on by RUNVAN® – Vancouver International Marathon Society.
Sure, the Fall Class, and the BMO Vancouver Marathon are amazing races. The RUNVAN® society has a knack for providing a positive experience and delivering on the finest race day detail. However, the Turkey Trot is above-and-beyond the rest, seen in race day vibe and organization.
— Gary Jones (@maniac5702) October 9, 2017
Package Pick-Up Experience
As in previous years, bib numbers were available during designated times at Rackets and Runners. I got there about a half hour early, thinking they would likely make me wait. Nope! Staff were inviting and the process was efficient.
There was one noticeable change to the pick-up experience for 2017 – no grab bag! Every runner received a $20 gift certificate for New Balance gear, their bib, and safety pins if they so desired. There was no plastic baggie filled with advertisements or event information on card stock.
I think this was the BEST DECISION EVER! Races should hand out less of what inevitably ends up in the nearest trash can. Kudos to RUNVAN®!
Turkey Trot 10k Race Day Experience
The 2017 race was sold out the Friday before the event. I normally get to any race at least an hour ahead of time. In previous years, I usually was getting to the Turkey Trot course at the same time as the folks putting on the event. Not this year. By 7:30 am, parking lots on Granville Island were filling up and people were commingling at the start line and surrounding kiosks.
Many folks attending the Turkey Trot 10k wear costumes for the event. I look forward to checking-out what folks have created. However, I did not notice as many costumes compared to previous years. That is disappointing as it is exciting to see what people are willing to run in (turkey feet). I do remember seeing a full body chicken costume, and plenty of “turkey hats.” One was even a handmade crocheted turkey toque! Nifty!
The race started on time, and went out in stages based on corral colours. This was a great decision by the organizers due to the number of folks who registered for the event, and the periodic bottle necks on the course. At no point during the race did things feel crowded, even with the occasional pedestrian and cyclist going the opposite direction on the course.
The start and finish line is located near Performance Works on Granville Island. The course winds up and over the Burrard Bridge (the only significant hill), and hangs a right onto the northern end of the Seawall.
This is a fast paced flat course with lots of opportunity to pick-up your pace as you desire. There were two water stations and three to four cheering sections along the way. Course marshals directed runners at locations where it was not entirely clear where to navigate turns.
How I Did
In terms of perceived effort, the race today felt really good. I have become a bit of a hill hog, making the Burrard Bridge “vert” only a brief passing thought. I thrive on pacing my way up most inclines, even the dreaded Camosun Hill on the BMO Vancouver Marathon course.
My placement and rankings were quite average. However, this was part of efforts to not shoot for personal best performances during this Fall. Last year I experienced a horrid bout of burn out. I walked dangerously close to even losing my love for running. This year I am focusing on how my body feels and catching the scenery. It’s working! 🙂
Bling and Post Race Experience
The Granville Island Turkey Trot 2017, for the second year in a row, gave out another nifty medal design. I am proud to add it to my collection. With such a low cost race, I am impressed that the RUNVAN® folks offer this benefit for participation.
So far in all the races I have run over the past four years, the post race experience at the Turkey Trot is hands-down, the absolute best. Racers have an opportunity to get their hands on some amazing food (with many vegan options), and catch a great band.
What would I do different? Stick around a little longer. Next year!
- Race staff and organizers positive vibe shines through.
- 8k of flat turf and cobble stone to accomplish that next personal best.
- 2k of moderate hill work over the Burrard Bridge if you want an extra challenge.
- Amazing post-race gathering spot, complete with a band!
- Corrals for safe start.
The Cons – Suggestions
- Absolutely none!
- (?More costumes?) – Yes! That’s it! Do a costume contest as part of the race next year!
The Granville Island Turkey Trot is the absolute best 10k race for runners at every level. If you want to run your first 10k, score a 10k personal best, or just have a blast getting around the beautiful colourful Autumn course, then this is the race for you. I am looking forward to registering for my 5th Turkey Trot 10k in 2018. Needless to say, whatever place running has in my life in the years to come, this is the race I will run every year without fail.
Check Out “Bradley On The Run”
I want to send out kudos to Bradley, another great running buddy and race reviewer. Head on over and check-out his review of the 2017 Granville Island Turkey Trot!
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