Friday, November 28, 2014

Gobble Wobble 5K Recap

While most people have turkey and football to look forward to on Thanksgiving morning, my family also has running on that list of holiday traditions!

With hundreds of 5Ks taking place on Thanksgiving Day across the country with hundreds of thousands of participants, we are certainly not alone in this growing trend!

Since 2012, the Evans family has thrown on our compression clothes and laced up our running shoes to take part in the Warren Kiwanis Turkey Trot. However, this year, we switched it up a bit and signed up for the  Shenango Conservancy Gobble Wobble 5K located in Buhl Farm Park in Hermitage, PA.

Yes, I know. I realize that this race is not in Ohio, and therefore it doesn't technically make it an OHventure. I myself was none too pleased with our change in venue for this reason alone. But, truth be told, this turkey trot is closer to our house in Hubbard than the one in Warren. And, everyone else wanted to give it a shot, so, majority rules.

But - just because this wasn't in Ohio doesn't mean there aren't a cornucopia of turkey trots that you can choose from if you do decide to take part in this tradition in years to come. Check out a list of some of those turkey trots at this link.

The Gobble Wobble is pretty popular! There were over 1,500 runners present on Thanksgiving morning, despite the blustery conditions. It was in the 30s with snow flurries and gray skies overlooking the icy pond, Lake Julia. Folks were crowded in the beautiful park, many with Thanksgiving-themed attire, such as pumpkin pie hats, turkey sweaters, Native American garb, and fall-colored tutus. There were even people braving the weather showing some skin

We met up with my friends Matt and Jess and we all decided to make it more of a leisurely run than a competitive race. This was perfect, since we all had a long day ahead, and it allowed for us to take in the scenic views of the park's gardens and landscaping. Even in the winter, Buhl Park (one in which I have frequented over the years) still looks beautiful and serene.

The Casino

Our pace was set at a very steady 9-minute mile, partly due to our choice, and partly because of the large crowd we were stuck behind. We started by the "Casino" (the large white building which is the focal point of the park, regularly housing social gatherings and park activities) and circled around Kite Field for Mile #1. Mile #2 continued past Lake Julia, the baseball diamond, the Julia Buhl Memorial Gardens, and the Wilderness Area. Finally, Mile #3 made its way past the Acker Gazebo & Becky's Garden, finishing by Kite Field and the Casino.

Along the way, we had some fun by goofing off and catching snowflakes on our tongues, and pushed ourselves to conquer the giant hill near the end of the course. It was great to go at such a gentle pace that we were able to talk and catch up, taking our minds off the cold! At the finish line, hot chocolate, coffee and popcorn awaited us in the pavilion.

While I still had hoped we trotted and wobbled in Ohio rather than Pennsylvania, it was still a refreshing and exciting 5K with family and friends. And, thus, the tradition continues!

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