Vero has a great little 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. The Turkey Trot Against Hunger put on by the Vero Beach Harvest Food & Outreach Center and The Runners Depot (Vero Beach). All funds go to serve meals to those in need over the holidays and during the year. Lots of money raised. Lots of meals provided.
The race takes place inside one of the city parks...and you get to see ever corner of the park...some of it twice. The course switches back on itself three times (pivot! picot!). Lots of turning and navigating. But Turkey Trots are meant to be fun and this one doesn't disappoint. They even serve a complimentary sweet potato pancake and sausage breakfast afterward complete with coffee and OJ.
Outside. During November. In Florida.
For the first time in The Triathlife history, team Schmitty stood atop the podium in our respective age groups at the very same race. Go us! And Jen notched another PR. So if you're keeping score at home, that's three PRs for Jen this fall - 5k, 10k and half marathon. Yeah. I'll have whatever she's having. 40-something is indeed the new "kick ass!"
This was our second Thanksgiving in Vero Beach in the last three years. The more we venture out and explore the more Schmitty likes this place. It's a wee bit "retire-y" but I enjoy the pace.
WARNING: TRAVEL FACTOIDS AHEAD:
- Located along Florida's Treasure Coast (insert pirate brogue - arrrrr!) Vero Beach used to be the spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers (a 60 year history that extends back to the original Brooklyn Dodgers).
- Vero Beach and neighboring Fort Piece Florida (just south of Vero) were home to a rather large naval base during WWII.
- The Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established at Fort Pierce...which became the birthplace of the uber specialized Naval Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs)...the precursor of the Navy Seals.
Boom! Dropping history all over this piece. You came for the Schmitty and you got served. Served with knowledge. (mic drop)
FYI - If you find yourself in Fort Pierce with a couple hours to spare, stop by the Navy Seal Museum. Jen tolerates my love of history museums but holds them in complete disdain (the walking...the reading...). But even SHE thought the Navy SEAL museum was pretty cool. They even have a brand new Navy SEAL "kids" course outside. Schmitty wanted to see if he had the "right stuff" so I took a go at the monkey bars...and NO not the short monkey bars where my feet could touch....I did the tall ones. And honestly, I don't know what all the fuss is about. Hell week? Whatever. I made it all the way across the monkey bars on my first try. If I wasn't over the age limit I may give that SEALS training a go ;)
Navy SEALS are an incredible sort of individual - that is an understatement. To be able to see the where, why and how is really quite impressive.