Detroit Turkey Trot,
Thursday, 23 November, 2017.
Hats off to Jodie Knowles, who, having entered the Detroit Turkey Trot*, decided to make a holiday of it. Or was it the other way round? Either way, it does help if you’ve got family out there.
Jodie was one of 4,744 runners who lined up at 7.30am just a short hop from the Cobo Center [sic], in freezing conditions I might add, on Grisworld, 54ft 10in south of light pole on the South/East corner of Fort Street, for the start of the 10k race.
The event marking Thanksgiving Day is a family tradition that has been held in downtown Detroit for the past thirty-four years. There are a variety of races, with a 5k and a one-mile race to go alongside the 10k that Jodie’d put her name down for, but the occasion is much more than that. Here, thousands of participants dress in costumes for the event which is often declared “The Parade before The Parade”, where they “frolic by the largest spectator crowd in Michigan”.
I’ll understand many of you won’t be familiar with the route, or Detroit itself for that matter, but for the purists, the course runs northwards up Woodward Avenue, then swings back down at West Kirby, turning right into West Adams Street, then picking up Washington Boulevard, crossing Michigan Avenue, the turning right into West Fort Street. The route then continues for some way before looping back along 8th Street and Cabacier Street, picking up Jefferson Avenue, then veering off right onto Steve Yzerman Drive, running parallel with the Detroit River before finishing eight feet west of second light pole west of Cobo Center overhang. Got it?
The Detroit Turkey Trot has grown considerably over the years to the point where it’s almost impossible to run in the early stages, and this obviously impacted on runners’ finishing times. Jodie’s been lowering her 10k times over the past year, and at the Abbey Dash earlier this month she ran 52:38. Her time in Detroit of 55:01 was obviously slower (she’d have run faster had it not been for those pesky kids) but was still more favourable than her recorded times at the Helen Windsor in July and the Kirkwood Hospice in August. And what of her other stats? 425th female out of 2,297, and even more impressive, 65th in her age range Female 30-34 of 319 runners. Still something to shout about, I’d say.
Showered and changed, a slightly warmer Jodie then enjoyed the Thanksgiving Parade, and rounded off the day by attending the Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings at the Ford Field Stadium (for those with a passing interest by, Detroit lost their first game of the season under new head coach Jim Caldwell 30-23). As for the Turkey Trot, the race winner was Stephen Biebelhausen from Lake Orion in 32:12. Should he ever pop up at any of our local parkruns, remember the name.