The Pilcher Park Poultry Predictor (say that 3 times fast) is a race where you win by guessing a time close to what you thing you will run. You don't win by being the fastest, you win by being the closest to your predicted time. What do you win? Pies and turkeys! I put my predicted time down of 32:00 which is an 8:00 mile. For 4 miles, I figured this was doable, especially since I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k at an 8:05 pace less than a month ago. I was able to register the day of the race for $10 ($8 if you pre-registered). There was no shirt and the race was gun-timed, not chip timed. The race sold out at 350 people. If you wanted to run the race, you still could but you weren't part of the "predictor" competition. A bunch of the FNRC was there and we took a group photo before the run.
I started the race with Nicole Fritz (occasional guest post writer, local speedster, half fanatic) and her cousin. We snapped a quick pre-race photo.
What is that on my head? Oh yeah, my awesome turkey headband that my co-worker made. It was quite the hit and appeared to be much easier to run in than some of the other turkey hats I've seen. On to the actual race. It was gun timed and pretty crowded at the start. We did some weaving and I could tell from the beginning that it was going to be a rough race.
|Early in the race and still feeling good, hanging with Nicole's cousin.|
Thanks for snapping the pic Nicole!
I started off strong but really started to feel it about half way. I wished Nicole and her cousin good luck as I had to drop back. As this was a "predictor" race, there were no mile markers and no Garmins or timing devices allowed. (Kind of freeing actually, but makes it really easy to go out too fast.) There were mile markers on the trail, but from a previous race. I spotted a "2" mile marker which was more around mile 3 and it totally beat me up mentally. Was I really only at mile 2? I felt awful! I wasn't in physical pain or anything, I just didn't feel like I was running my best (and I knew I wasn't).
(This is what pain looks like. And paleness. This is definitely what paleness looks like.)
It was a looped course and was well stationed with people directing you where to go. EXCEPT at the finish! I almost missed the last turn and was thankful that there were some of the speedier guys on a cool-down that helped direct me in the right way. I could hear some footsteps behind me and I knew a guy was right on my heels. I was going to do everything in my power to not let him pass me. He pushed and I pushed harder. I hear him call out "Nice kick!" as I entered the finish chute without letting him pass me. (Gotta say, that did feel good.) I was happy to be done and now it was time to wait for the results! When we finished, there was no clock alerting us of our time so we literally had NO idea how we did. I kind of wished there would have been a clock to let us know if it was worth hanging around or not. I had a hope that I finished in 32:00, but that was only a hope.
I waited with some of the FNRC for a little while, picked up my bag of goodies (clementine, granola bar, and 2 mini muffins. I only ate the clementine and gave the rest to a friend). The coffee pot was empty fairly quick, and I wasn't able to grab a cup (one of my favorite things about local races is the post-race coffee). I was next in line after the guy that took the last drop. First World Problem, for sure.
|One more photo, modeling my headband|
In summary, this race didn't have many frills, but that was one of the things I liked about it.
*I had never run on this trail before so it was a really nice change of pace.
*The support along the way was great, with signs of things we're thankful for, and volunteers directing us
*Cheap race without a bunch of stuff that we won't use/don't need
*Warming area and bathrooms. We had nice weather this year, but I imagine this isn't always the case. It is nice that this was offered
*Stroller and dog-friendly race... Not all races are popular with jogging strollers or dogs and it nice to know that this one is.
*The results took a long time to post.Given the old school method of tearing off the bottom of the bib, and the associated manual entry of the predicted times, this was kind of expected
*No one directing you into the finish area! A volunteer or sign would have been really helpful.
*Not really much of a post-race spread, but for the cheap price I was glad there was at least something :)
I'm not sure if I would do this race again, but I think that is just because I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan of the "predictor" style of the race. :)
Have you ever done a race like this before? What are your thoughts on the more "non-conventional" races?