The Talking Turkey 6 Mile Cross Country Race in Holyoke, Massachusetts is an annual favorite for me and has quickly grown into one of the premier races in the region. Some might say I am biased due to being born and raised in Holyoke, but when standing around post-race you hear others mention that “This is one of my top five favorite races” perhaps I am not alone in that assessment.
The Talking Turkey takes place within the grounds of the absolutely beautiful Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke and has a great post-race reception at the Holyoke Lodge of Elks. The course is a cross-country style race where runners race across the dirt loop that circles the water within the reservoir. For yesterday’s race it was cool and a bit breezy and flurries actually were in the air at race time.
The race itself is predominantly flat with just a couple of quick inclines throughout the main loop of the course and then a rather gradual incline leading into the finish line. The finish line is packed with spectators cheering you in as is just before mile 3 where spectators line both sides of a foot bridge that leads across the water. There is a water stop at about 3.5 miles into the race. Though cool and breezy, the course was in excellent condition along the race and made for a good overall racing day.
Post-race food includes some rather amazing clam chowder, ziti, rolls and cookies. Inside, plenty of reasonably priced beers were available inside the Elks for those wishing to enjoy.
I finished the 34th Talking Turkey 6 Mile Cross Country Race with a time of 47:36 good for 7:56/miles. I encourage everyone to mark the calendars with a reminder for next year to sign up for this race!