3 Run 2 Turkey Trot “Race Recap”

This Thanksgiving, I participated in the 3 Run 2 Turkey Trot 8k “race.” Race is in quotes because it was an unofficial race – no chip time, no closed course, no entry fee, no water or aid stations on the course, no bag check, etc.  It was basically the same thing as the Sunrise 6k: a group tempo run but with an atmosphere of semi-competition because we call it a race.  However, this was SO much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year.


3 Run 2 Turkey Trot Group Shot
Photo cred: Micaela Bernal


Typically on Thanksgiving I participate in the North Shore Turkey Trot because it’s in Highland Park and my parents live a few blocks away. However, this year I would have had to pay ~$70 to participate and I sad HELL NO.  No way I would pay that much for a 10k! I scrambled around to look for something else. Luckily, my friend Andy posted about 3 Run 2’s event.  3 Run 2 is one of the only running groups in Chicago I hadn’t ever joined for a run, but I have wanted to for a while.  This was a perfect opportunity.


The course

3 Run 2 offered a 5k-ish and an 8k-ish distance. I say ish because, since the race was not official, the distances were approximate. We started and ended at Dark Matter coffee on Western. We ran south to Hubbard and then east to Ashland (for the 5k) or Halstead (for the 8k). At the corner, we turned north to Chicago Avenue, then left back to Western.  In other words, a rectangle.  As an unofficial race, the course was open. Meaning cars, pedestrians, etc. Also meaning that if you got to a red light, you had to stop and wait for traffic. That was all part of the fun!




Race Day

The races started at 10am. I arrived at about 9:30 to do a warmup mile and to go to “Packet Pickup” (they had printed off paper bibs). A huge crowd of November Project folks were there too which was great to see.



I would estimate about 100 runners or so came, which was more than I expected.  After Micaela took a large group picture, the 8k runners lined up to race: racers in the front and the “fun speed” or stroller/dog walkers behind them.  My plan was to run a time trial to assess current fitness level,  keeping in mind the red lights might throw things off.


I encountered a red light at Grand, and again at Damen.  On the way back, I was stopped at the Milwaukee/Grand/Halsted three-way intersection and the Ogden/Chicago/Elston intersection for about a minute each.  I actually enjoyed the stops because I would catch up to the runners who were just in front of me, and the runners who were a few blocks behind me would also catch up.  When the light turned green, it was extra motivation to stay with the just faster runners while trying to lose the just slower runners.  Plus the little breather didn’t hurt.



Photo credit: Micaela Bernal


Overall my splits were 7:04, 6:54, 7:02, 6:56, 7:00 (for the .8) – total time of 33:30.  It was about a minute slower than the 8k I did in December 2015, and a minute and a half slower than my 8k PR last year, but I was second female overall for the 8k!  Plus, for where I am at the moment speedwise, I’ll take it.  This is a refocus period after all.  It was a good way to get a semi-benchmark for the F3 Half Marathon in January (read about my training here).


Post Race

After the race, I hung around with November Project friends and said hi to Maggie, a fellow running blogger and social media friend.  AND I had coffee for the first time EVER.  Yes.  You read that right.  EVER.  Blame my parents for being overly-scary when I was growing up. “NEVER START DRINKING COFFEE IT’S THE WORST HABIT EVER!”  It was ok – a bit too bitter for me – and I was really hyper for the rest of the day.





Overall Thoughts

I’m glad I participated in the 3 Run 2 Turkey Trot instead of doing my typical race.  It was a great introduction to 3 Run 2, and a fun way to start Thanksgiving.  Although the course was not closed and had red lights, the idea of doing a rogue, unsanctioned race made it a bit more exciting.  I loved that they had bibs for us to wear, and the dollar coffee from Dark Matter was a great perk! Hanging out afterwards with friends and meeting other runners was also time well spent.  This is definitely something I will keep on my radar for next year!


Did you run a turkey trot this Thanksgiving?  Have you ever done an unofficial race like this?  What’s your stand on coffee?  I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap to bring you this race report.  Hope you had a lovely holiday!


Happy running,




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13 Comments on "3 Run 2 Turkey Trot “Race Recap”"

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Zach Paul

The race sounds super-fun, I definitely would’ve joined in if I were in town. I’m not a coffee *lover*, more of a “social drinker”, but I suggest next time mixing in a white liquid and sweetener of choice, it makes a big difference in my enjoyment!


That’s great so many people came out for an unofficial race. I agree $70 for a 10K is too much unless it is a Disney or a Major race.

Amy C. (@RunningEscapade)

What a great turn out!! I did my own Turkey Day 5K in the morning because I like starting the holiday by getting the fitness part out of the way.

Deborah @ Confessions of mother runner

I think there is always something nice about a lower key run or race. I am so less nervous that way. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving


Unofficial races are often the most fun! 3 Run 2 seems like an awesome organization.

Great job on your ‘race/run!’ 🙂

So crazy you’ve never had coffee before…I love it so much!

Kimberly Hatting

Well, no coffee for me (never acquired a taste for it), but I did a similar “unofficial” race on Thanksgiving morning…our’s is a small Turkey Trot (only in it’s 6th year), and we have no official start/finish lines and the course is also “open,” but there’s not much traffic at 8:30 on Thanksgiving morning to worry about. No registrations (or fees), but participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for our local food pantry. It’s fun!

HoHo Runs

This sounds like a fun event! I like the idea of catching up with people at the stoplights and making everything even again. It’s hard to believe you have not had coffee until now. That is probably my one addiction. Thanks for linking!


I love this low key event! RAM races charges so much for their events–I agree, $70 is too much for a 10k. I did the All Community events half in Busse Woods and I think it was $70.

You are so speedy! Even with red lights.


Sounds like you had a great “race”. My race is official — chip timed & everything — but it’s free! Gotta love that. There is a much larger (much, much larger) race that draws thousands of runners, but I enjoy the low key turkey trot I do.

While I have actually tasted coffee — many, many years ago — no. Just no. I don’t even like the smell. Granted, I haven’t tried it again, but then again, I’ve no desire to. Tea is good enough for me!


Love your face in the race photo – you can tell you were having fun 🙂