I have run this race for years, but only in the last few years has my family joined me.
For anyone going this year, here are some tips that I have picked up over the years:
* First thing to know: this race is 5 miles, not 5k. Every year, I pass people at the 3 mile mark who look confused because they think the race should be over! It is actually quite entertaining ;o)
* You do not need to be a runner to do this race. Or even a jogger. All ages, sizes and shapes run or walk this race.
* If you are a runner, don't expect to get a PR. This is a race about fun and families. Think lots of crowds. Save your PR goal for 3M :o)
* Bring turkey paraphernalia. One of the highlights of the event is watching all of the creative turkey head gear.
* Getting there -- the traffic down Barton Springs is **crazy**. Find an alternate route, if you can. Looking at my notes from last year, we should have left our home in South Austin by 8am in order to have a comfortable time getting there by 9:30am. Of course, we didn't. Last year I just happened to have my bike in the car, and wound up jumping out and leaving the family in the car, so we could get our packets on time! It actually worked out pretty well!
* Parking -- There is plenty of parking at the Long Center, but it took us an hour to get out of the parking garage on the trip home. Again, an earlier start might have meant a better parking spot! Or an alternate parking area!
* Finishing the race. As I mentioned, there are a lot of people. It always helps to pick a meet up place after the race, in case everyone gets separated. An easy location to pick is the packet pick up booths in front of the Long Center.
* Getting home - You should be headed home by 11:30am. For the last few years, my boys have walked this race with friends, while my husband and I have run it. Even with them taking a somewhat leisurely pace, we are still packed and in the car headed home around 11:30am. So if you're cooking the turkey, plan for a slightly later meal. If you're going over someone else's house, plenty of time to chill the wine ;o)
Have fun and keep warm!