Swanton, OH – The inaugural Run Like a Turkey 50K trail race took place this past weekend at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark. This was the first year for the race and included only 66 turkeys. The course consisted of two continuous 15.5 miles loops around the park on a 4-6 foot wide sand/dirt/gravel boy scout trail. The course is great and one of my all-time favorite placed to run. It is a sneeaaky trail, though – covered with booby-traps and surrounded by snipers ready to lay you out. I would guess today’s event held an average of at least 1 ninja roll per runner. The whole trail was layered with leaves, roots, and rattlesnakes. The course was not flat and had plenty of up and downs, zig-zags, and countless hidden kankle breakers. Staring down at the ground in front of you the entire race is an absolute must, and rather delirious after a few hours. For Rohn, finishing this race with 2 healthy kankle’s is not to be overlooked, and is certainly a greater achievement than finishing. In the end, it could not have been a better day (weather was a lucky 50 degrees and sunny) to run 31 miles.
POR represented quite showlingly – placing second in both the women’s and men’s categories. In due time, Rohn should be receiving some medal-like award to commemorate his brash, yet effective, stubbornness. It was reported that Rohn’s training plan for this race consisted of running a total of 31 miles over the course of the past month. Pretty incredible stuff. Thank god the boy scouts were there to feed Rohn the water from their canteens at mile 27.
This is definitely a race that I would recommend to anyone considering an ultra-marathon. In my mind, it was the perfect ‘starter’ race for someone interested in running an ultra since it was low key, low stress, exciting course, and relatively easy on the bones. The trail did not get tedious and I actually prefer the 2-loop method as it gives you the opportunity to get some perspective of the course throughout the second lap. The only thing lacking from the race would be the amount of spectator support and competition. With only 66 runners out there I was very much alone the entire time. But, I don’t think people chose to run these things for the competition of it. I would definitely do this race again.