A winter race packet, I’ve learned, is different than the packets of warm-weather races. And it should be, because if the summer elements get to you on the event course, you can stop; cool down if you’re overheated; rehydrate if you’re carrying water; flag down a race volunteer if you’re desperate. If you stop in freezing temperatures, you start dying! Hypothermia, who has started the race behind you, is catching up and is poised to run you over like a freight train. You’re liable to fall into a snow bank and then you’re really doneski. You’re a new Ötzi the ice mummy and they’re not discovering you until spring thaw.
That may be a tad overstating it, but there are certain precautions one must take to stay safe and warm while exercising in the winter, and the Western & Southern Thanksgiving Day Race packet reflects the need to dress appropriately. Included is a pair of blue knit gloves, with touch-screen fingertips, that will block the wind from blowing away body heat.
The long-sleeved technical shirt is, by far, my favorite of the year. It’s 100% polyester and will lay soft and loose in between a base layer and a jacket. The graphic, with its Thanksgiving colors and with Cincinnati’s skyline and iconic buildings, fits both the holiday and the race place perfectly. It’s bold and beautiful and pops against the brownish-green that, despite its innate drabness, possesses a lovely sheen.
The bib is has a disposable timing chip adhered to the back, meaning that I won’t have to worry about losing it or failing to return it against penalty of a surcharge—more a relief than you might imagine and the way of the future. The bib also has the race graphic on it, so it won’t be as big a deal when I cover the shirt logo with my race number. Safety pins were out to grab at packet pickup, so if I’ve misplaced them between then and race day, it’s my own fault!
If the best packet I’ve gotten gets the fullest marks, this perfect packet is completed with a Pure Protein bar, a voucher for a free premium salad from McDonald’s, and the race instructions. I’m so excited to start my Thanksgiving holiday with this special event and anticipate that it will be the first of an enduring tradition. The 105th running of the Thanksgiving Day Race will be my first but not my last!