I have a tradition of running several miles in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning before running in the Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K; however, this year Mother Nature had other plans.  It snowed most of the day on Wednesday, and even though the main roads were fine, the side roads and trails were still wet when I went to bed.  With the risk of encountering black ice on an early morning run in the dark, I decided to skip my pre-race run.  I had planned ahead, and anticipating the foul weather, I ran six miles the day before in the pouring rain.  Normally, I would take the day off before a race to rest my legs.

If you remember back to last year, our family has slowly been adding costumes to our entourage -it started in 2012 with a turkey costume.  Then in 2013, we had a turkey costume and a pilgrim.  Not ones to miss out on fun, I decided to wear a pilgrim costume in this year’s race.

Packet pick-up was a breeze because I’ve started going right at 2 PM on Wednesday right when it starts, so I can beat the post-work crowds.  Packet pick-up is held in the main hall at Crossroads Methodist Church, the race’s founder.  Race proceeds go to support education for children in Uganda.

Join Crossroads UMC and the Ashburn community for the 21st Annual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day Race. In this annual fundraising event, hundreds of people have gathered for a time of fun, fellowship, and a good cause. All proceeds from this race support needy and vulnerable children in Uganda Africa. Crossroad UMC’s mission in Uganda has fully funded 51 elementary children, 68 secondary and 6 vocational students with needed school tuition, uniforms and casual clothes, all school supplies and transportation plus medical care.


The shirts this year were long sleeved cotton as they have been in past years.  Each year I hope for technical fabric, but so far, no luck.  Perhaps some day!


Before the race, Julie’s family gathered at our house (the staging area) to get dressed for the race, and take pre-race photos.  Once photos were complete, we headed to the church so Ellie could register for the race.


My first order of business once we got to the starting line was to get a picture with my MRTT buddies.  Even though Bill was officially on our MRTT team (the race required at least one participant of the opposite sex per team), the turkey and pilgrim were chosen to join in on the team photo instead of Bill.  He did get the honors of taking our picture, though!


Since I was running in the 5K, I was able to take pictures of the 10K racers before their start.  Front and center are four of our runners who rocked the race.  It was Kelley’s (in blue shirt) first ever 10K, and she totally owned it with a 49:00 (7:53 pace) official time.


As soon as the 10K runners took off, I ran about a half mile to warm up (and to go to the church’s restroom), and got back to the starting line with about five minutes to spare before the 5K started. I joined our group for a few pictures Bill took with our new GoPro, and then headed closer to the starting line since I planned to push myself.  Up front I found Joseph, and my Cruiser friend Alan.

Bill had some fun snapping pictures of the very concerned turkey posing with the pilgrim (it was Thanksgiving after all).


Just before the race started, Bill snapped this picture looking toward the starting line as final instructions were being given by Lesley, the race director.


While running along, Bill, the turkey, and pilgrim were passed by our friend Katie and her daughter.  Not concerned about being passed by a second grader, Bill continued running with, and filming his entourage.  After the race, Janet (Julie’s mom) told me that she’d just heard a woman say that she had beaten Bill.  I went back inside to see our friend Katie bragging to her husband about beating Bill!  Katie and I go way back – We used to work together at The Health Club of Reston, and we rode together to our first marathon.  Congrats, Katie!


I crossed the finish line with an official time of 24:23 (7:51 pace), and won my age group.  I didn’t realize I’d won until my BRF Susan texted me later that morning to tell me.

Once I finished, I walked over to the church to grab a water bottle and saw Joseph who had finished in 19:53 (6:24 pace) and placed second in his age group.  I returned to the race to watch for the rest of our group to finish.

Looks like the pilgrim finally got the turkey!


Susan ran in the 10K, so I didn’t get to see her except for just before the race, and after she finished.  I was thrilled that she was not embarrassed to be seen with me, and even suggested we get a picture together!


As I mentioned earlier, Susan was the one to tell me that I’d won my age group.  She stayed for the awards ceremony, and was kind enough to pick up Joseph’s and my medals and drop them off to us on Friday evening.


  • Questions:
  • Have you ever run in costume? ~ It was my first time!
  • Have you set any fitness goals for 2015?
  • Did you run in a turkey trot this year?