In years past, we've run the Turkey Trot in Frederick, but it has become too large for the course with just a mass start.
We decided that this year we would make the trek to Emmitsburg for the Wattle Waddle, and I'm so glad we did. Emmitsburg is a quaint little town near the MD/PA border so I figured it would be really easy to find the park where the race started. It was pretty funny because we could SEE the park, and the big inflatable turkey; we just couldn't find the road that got us there. After some wrong-way-on-one-way-streets (whoops!) we finally got there.
It was cold, but not unbearable -and- not windy or rainy. Yay! We had plenty of time to spare so we picked up our packets and hung out in the car for a bit.
I asked Hank if he wanted to run with me, and he looked at me like I was crazy. [sad Mommy moment], but I figured I could keep him in sight and then run with him once he petered out. The mayor said GO and off they went.
I didn't have any goal in mind other than to support Hank as he needed me...which turned out to be a good thing.
Around mile 2, I saw a cute little guy in a blue shirt. Hank had pretty much flamed out and would struggle for the rest of the race. We stopped at the one water stop and walked and drank. Then I just talked to him, encouraged him and reminded him how strong he was for even being out there.
edited to add this picture taken by the husband of my friend, who was the 4th woman overall. fast!
We took a couple of walk breaks and I continued to encourage him. There weren't many kid runners so other runners and spectators cheered a lot for him as we passed which really helped - spectators, never underestimate the power of an encouraging word or a crazy yell!
We hit the home stretch and I told him to run with all he had left. The little monkey had quite a kick for being so tired. I'm not letting myself sprint anywhere yet so I just plodded on in. We both finished in 50 minutes and change. I thought that was excellent for Hank's first road race and first attempt at that distance.
While we were running, they had some activities for any kids who happened to be waiting around. Ella did a waddle race seeing how far she could run holding an inflatable turkey between her knees. She also played on the playground and did her part to annoy her older brother. Many thanks to Jake for taking pictures and watching his sister while Hank and I ran. Not his first choice for Thanksgiving morning, but he did it, and I'm grateful.
Ella got a ribbon and a certificate. I also gave her my swag - a pennant and a Livestrong-type bracelet - so she made out pretty well.
It's a great race. A great course. And a great cause. I definitely recommend it to you local folks. And I loved getting a headstart on the calories I knew I was going to enjoy later!