The Voice of Wakefield High School

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The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Planning to run the Skinny Turkey? We have some advice from the pros

People of the Wakefield community joyfully run on Thanksgiving day. The annual Skinny Turkey race is just ten days away! (Photo Courtesy of Robin Brannigan)

Wakefield High School’s annual Skinny Turkey Marathon is a community event that connects runners and non-runners alike. The race takes place on Thanksgiving day, located throughout Wakefield Plantation and the Wake Falls neighborhood. This year, anyone can be fully prepared to participate in this festive race thanks to some advice from athletes at Wakefield. 

The first thing to take into consideration when preparing to run a marathon is nutrition and hydration. What a runner puts into their body has a major impact on their physical performance. Coordinator of the Skinny Turkey and Wakefield’s head of athletics, Brent Dorenkamp, suggests that runners consume familiar foods and avoid eating anything processed.

Pacing is really important because you don’t want to go out too fast, you will burn out in the last mile.

— Watkins

 “I wouldn’t go to a race day and take a new energy gel or try a supplement drink if you haven’t been practicing with those,” Dorenkamp said. “If you’re eating a lot of processed foods that have a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, then they’re probably in that low-grade range. If you’re eating more whole foods or foods where you know what the sources are, then you are eating in that higher quality [range].”

Pacing is also extremely critical in a race. There are many things one can do to maintain a healthy, consistent pace. Jack Watkins, a member of Wakefield’s cross country team, likes to take any race one mile at a time. 

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“Pacing is really important because you don’t want to go out too fast, you will burn out in the last mile,” Watkins said. “I run a different 5k than other people, but I take the first mile out fast. The second mile is where you relax and lock in, then on the third mile you go all out and as fast as you can.”

Another benefit is having a running buddy. Moral support from a familiar face can be enough to push individuals to do their best. Lauren Topp, one of Wakefield’s cross-country and track runners, highly recommends running with a friend.

 “My number one thing is to have someone run with you,” Topp said. “You can kind of bounce off the other person depending on how fast you’re running. You could maybe say a few words or high five in the middle of the race, [having a buddy] helps mentally a lot.”

Getting into the right headspace before one embarks on their run can also dramatically increase their performance. 

Holiday spirit spreads around the race. The Skinny Turkey brings people together. (Photo Courtesy of Robin Brannigan)

A runner for Wakefield’s cross-country team, Katie Herb, plans to run the Skinny Turkey this year and has a certain way of getting in the zone. 

“I usually like to have a clear head and not think about it too much. [I] just listen to music and don’t focus on that I have to run,” Herb said. 

With that being said, it is completely normal to feel anxious before running a race. Keep in mind that this event’s purpose is to spread the holiday spirit and enjoy the company of loved ones. In Herb’s eyes as long as someone is getting outside and being active, they have succeeded.  

“There’s no reason to be anxious, your time doesn’t really matter.” Herb said. “It’s best that you’re getting out there and doing something. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to get a good time, just make sure you go out and have fun.”  

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