Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Santa Barbara Turkey Trot 4-miler

Last Thursday I joined a couple hundred eager runners for the Santa Barbara Thanksgiving 4-miler (aka, the Turkey Trot). It was a great way to get outdoors and get the blood flowing before spending the rest of the afternoon eating and drinking until we burst. Somehow in my head, a 4-miler makes it okay to have seconds on pecan pie. I don't bother with the calorie math. ;-)

I met up with Kristin Armstrong and her friend Jamie Allison (the original Mom in Motion), and was pleased to find out that their 7-year-old daughters Bella and Kate would be joining us this year. How cool! Kristin and Jamie beamed with delight to have their young ones at their side. Four miles is pretty impressive for anyone, let alone a 7-year-old! Our good friend Dan McCammon also met up with us.

(Kate and Bella are ready to rock the F-7 category)

(Our crew, 3-year-old Sammi, jumps in a photo with Kate, Jamie, Bella, and Kristin)

Despite the torrential rain of the last few days (which followed a very scary fire in the hills), Santa Barbara managed to cook up another sunny day for the Turkey Trot. The volunteers cranked through a hundred last minute sign-ups, and we all lined up on Hollister Ave to get started. The cops delayed us a bit...hey, are they writing a ticket for the Race Director? Maybe he forgot the permit...

(Bummer for the RD)

(The Turkey Trotters take over Hollister Ave)

(Kik paces along with Bella and Kate)

Kate and Bella took off like it was a 100-meter dash, despite the pacing warnings of their marathon- and ultra-training Moms. Soon enough the two speed demons had slowed down to a crawl. As we hit the first turn, Kate paced with Jamie while Bella grabbed a "lost dog" sign and multi-tasked by scouting for the lost mutt. Never a dull moment with Bella around. ;-)

(Mothers and daughters)

I caught up to Kate and Jamie, and learned that young Kate was no stranger to these long runs with a few 5k's under her belt already. Jamie was tapering down for the CIM marathon next weekend after a long retreat from distance running, and was excited to shoot for a Boston-qualifying time should all go well. I started to tell her all about the virtues of trail running, right about the time Bella and Kik came up on the trail behind us. Kik must be getting in a few more trail miles before her ultramarathon debut at Sunmart next weekend. So much race anticipation all around! It was good to have 4 miles to just goof off.

(Bella and Kik take on the trails)

We took a walk break as we hit the halfway point and drank all the water we could grab. I thought for sure we would be walking from here on out, but Kate and Bella took off again and we were soon in hot pursuit.

(Flying Bella and Kate hit the second half with gusto)

It was so much fun to run with the girls and their Moms. I could pace with the girls and feed off their energy and constant laughing, then ease back with the Moms and savor the silent smiles they would share with each other as they watched their little ones grow up in front of them. I was looking forward to the day that Sophie might join in. Let's just hope I'm fast enough to keep up when she does!

(The Santa Barbara mountains hold back the clouds as we hit the final stretch)

The sun hit our faces as we rounded the last corner and headed back to the finish. After a quick break to meet some dogs and exchange some cool foliage with Sammi and Michael (Jamie's husband), we poured into the home stretch in just over 56 minutes. Not bad at all! We had some powdered donuts, donned our super-cool Turkey t-shirts, and headed back home to prepare for the big day.

(Kik and Bella cross the finish line)

(Sammi finds the best part of the race - powdered donuts!)

The sun and sand beckoned me from the drive home, so I pulled over and put in a few more miles chasing the pelicans down the beach. I thanked the birds for the impromptu race, the sun and ocean for the inspiration, and my lucky stars for having a beautiful morning like this. Perhaps the best way to give thanks is to be in the moment and share your appreciation.

Or maybe I'm just making room for thirds of pecan pie. ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

- SD


  1. You got to love the energy kids give off, it's very enjoyable to see them have fun.

  2. this is all too adorable. good times.

  3. so, what's the over/under of how old Sophie will be when she joins daddy for an ultra?

  4. How cute, Scott! And for sure different from the Quad Dipsea crowd ;-)
    We miss you on the PAUSATF circuit, hope to see you back next year!

    Farther Faster

  5. Scott

    Thanks for your comments over on Kristin's blog. You are right everyone is entitled to an opinion however no one is twisting her (Beth's) arm to read it.

    I always look forward to both Kristin's blog and yours!!

  6. Hey! I was there too! That race is like the Santa Barbara reunion run-- so many people come back for Thanksgiving. A little different than the 9 Trails crowd... Good to see the kids out there though.

  7. It's all about the thirds.


  8. Training question off subject -
    I've read yourr post for a few years now. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm a 3:10 road marathoner with 10 years of marathons (2-3 per year).
    I ran a non-technical trail 50 miler in 9/07 with a 8:30 finish. I'd like to run the Dances with Dirt series of 50 milers out here in the Midwest (IN, WI, MI) starting this coming May. I run with a marathon training group through our bitterly cold winter, but want to supplement that training to be competitive at the 50 mile distance. I have a rail-trail 33.5 mile run scheduled for late March.
    What advise could you share to build mileage and keep some of the speed I gained this year for solely 10K to marathon training?

    Thanks for any input,
    Michigan Roach,
    Paw Paw, MI

  9. Great race photos Scott! :-)

  10. Ha! I ran this too - what a fun event.

  11. Hi there, I am the RD and no ticket, the officer was just getting my name and I was assuring him the permits were in order...always fun to have Jamie and Kristen and thier kids coming out to another RunSantaBarbara event.

    Jake Clinton


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