Friday, December 3, 2010

Turkey Trot takes a wrong turn

Updated: Sunday, 28 Nov 2010, 8:05 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 28 Nov 2010, 4:46 PM CST

Austin (KXAN) - A record number of runners hit Austin's streets Thursday morning for the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot .?

The race had many folks boasting that they ran 5 miles before their big Thanksgiving dinner.? But it turns out those folks have a little less to brag about - and it's all because of a wrong turn.

It happened near the 3-mile mark of the course, where Stephen F. Austin Drive meets West Cesar Chavez Street.?? Maps of the race course show that the runners were supposed to make a left turn at the intersection.? The course looped under the overpass, then briefly moved west onto Cesar Chavez before making a U-turn back toward the finish line.

But that's not the way the runners went.

According to Michelle Graham, who represents Bounce , a marketing company hired for the race, the race pace car and the APD motorcycle officers at the front of the pack hesitated at the intersection.? Many Austin races pass through that particular intersection, and most of the courses go to the right at that point.

The pace car ended up making the correct left turn, but by then, the lead runners had already made the right turn and were running east down Cesar Chavez.

Once the front-runners made the wrong turn, the people behind them simply followed along.? None of the thousands of runners ran the full course.

Graham said the wrong turn cut slightly less than a half-mile from the course distance.

More than 18,500 runners took part in this year's Turkey Trot.? That's a new record for the race.? The money raised by the race benefits Caritas of Austin .


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