Tag Archives: Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA

Backyard Bonanza 5K, 12.5K, and 25K Trail Races.

This past Sunday a bunch of trailrunners and walkers congregated at the Herman and Kaiser YMCA on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain to run the Backyard Bonanza series of races (5K, 12.5K, and 25K). It kind of takes the place of the old Turkey n Taturs races that took place at the Y a few years ago. This race was created and operated by RunnersWorld Racing. Runners World was involved in the Turkey n Tatur Races as well. This is not the biggest race in town but it is lots of fun. I think this is the second year of the race and I think they had a 30% growth in participants from last year. It takes time to build up a race.

Just as I got there, the 12.5K and 25K contestants were were getting pre-race instructions. Pretty simple really, follow the pink ribbons, don’t cross the yellow ribbons, be nice to other people on the mountain cuz the course is still open to the public, have fun. With the Turkey n Taturs races I did the 8K a bunch of times and the 25K once. I have also cooked hamburgers maybe three times, and helped out at the aid station once or twice. This year I did the 5K event.

So stationed myself at the first turn of the race and got a video of the “peloton” of runners/walkers. And then I waited a half hour or so for the 5K to start.

I started at the back of the pack as usual and pretty much just power walked up the hills on the outward bound part of the course. We ran legacy trails on this segment, pretty hard up and downs.

And then things flattened out a little bit and I found I could trot pretty well without much difficulty. I can’t tell how long it has been since I could run.

We ran on a segment of new trail that was unfamiliar to me. I could have sworn that I have been on all the new trails except the downhill bicycle only Zingo but I was wrong. Not the first time I’ve been wrong.

We ran into what I call the cloverleaf. It is kind of a mix master where you end up running in a bunch of different directions. If you scroll down you will see it on the route maps at the lower left hand (southwest corner of the maps). Still flat and I was still trotting. I ended up doing negative splits and the final mile was 15 minutes, 30 seconds which is close to my “peak” when I ran a lot.

So at the finish, they had bottle openers instead of medals. Suited me fine. Medals have taken over the races and lots of people covet them.

They also had freshly made pancakes. Sign me up for a pancake anytime. They had pumpkin butter to put on them in addition to syrup. That was delicious.

And finished off with a silver bullet on the terrace of the Lodge. The Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA is deluxe. The powers that be had been gathering donations for some time and when they had to shut down for covid they hired some contractors and got to work and they had a brand new facility when the reopened. In fact they had a race on opening day in June, 2021 and I participated in it.

And of course the tee shirt was deluxe.

I ended up winning my age group!! So that was nice even though I was the only one in my age group.

So this race was the whole package. I’ll be back!

Facility 5 stars (out of 5)
Course 5 stars
Markings 5 stars
Food and Drink 5 stars
TShirt 5 stars
Fellow contestants 5 stars
Awards 5 stars

As you can tell I liked the race.

Tulsa Backyard Blaze 5K Trail Race

I don’t do too many races these days. For one thing I don’t run hardly at all and for a second, I got out of the habit during covid. I have a soft spot in my heart for trail races though. Big secret is that many people on trail races, and in fact in all races, walk the route. It is not frowned on at all. Last Saturday I ventured to the Herman & Kate Kaiser YMCA on the northwest side of Turkey Mountain for their Tulsa Backyard Blaze 5K.

The race started at the Y and then headed south with an outgoing veer to the east, at the far southern end it looped around and around and then headed pretty much straight back to the Y.

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Here is the race director Mitch giving us instructions. Trail races are pretty easy, just follow everybody else is my motto. I’ve actually gone off the course on a couple of trail races.

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We had a countdown and then we were off. I started way at the back and I thought I would be able to trot a hundred yards or so but my twingey knee said no way Jose! You are walking, so I walked the whole thing.

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About 3/4 of the course, which is all beautiful forestland as threatened a few years ago by Simon Malls wanting to put an outlet mall on the property. The community was outraged and Simon moved somewhere else in the Tulsa area, a totally more appropriate site, cleared off the land put in the first concrete pad and then stopped construction. Can you imagine the above being an abandoned parking lot? It almost happened!!

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I fell in behind this group of ladies. They were setting a good pace for me. They are a group of friends that race together and their camaraderie was fun to watch.

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All the trails were legacy trails, twisty and turney.

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For a post race treat, they had chocolate chip pancakes topped with peanut butter!! They were great!! I had to do a boarding house reach to get one. Sorry, but you do what you have to do at these things.

They had wooden medallions for all the finishers and little coasters for the age group winners. Being the only one in my age group I got one of these. They also had nice tshirts for everybody.

A nice well managed and run race. A good job by the Y for being a great host, Runners World Tulsa for managing the race including clearing and marking the trails and whoever did the timing did a great job as well.