Yep, I ran a half marathon on Sunday. I had signed up a long time ago because it is a Tampa race institution and I wanted to be able to say I had done it. I’ll be honest I was concerned because my pride and motivation was shot after marathon weekend. I also had not run since the 5K we did on the cruise and I hadn’t run before that.
So, work had a booth at the expo so I ended up being on my feet for the 2 days before the half. No runs + lots of standing = sore legs/feet. I’m thankful it wasn’t too bad! The expo was awesome! They had great vendors and so nice photo spots. I ended up picking up some new Brook’s Ghost’s, I’m making the change from my adrenalines, a tank top from 73 Threads, and a brand new SparkleSkirt!
Moving on from the expo to RACE DAY!
The half marathon begins at 6am. We met Bob at his hotel and headed over to the convention center. We were meeting our group there pre-race!
Maryland represent!! Bob was focusing on a 7:54 pace, Jon was going with him to try to PR. The twins were shooting to finish cause it was their first time doing a challenge, and everyone else was just running to have fun!
The race is self-seeded corrals so we placed ourselves in the 2+ hours side of the bridge and waited to begin. The first mile was just a wall of people, Trisha decided to take off and I decided to keep it easy at first. After mile 2 things kind of opened up. I don’t think I realized how beautiful Tampa really is that early in the morning. The weather was ABSOLUTELY perfect! There was a light breeze off the bay and I was cruising with my 1:1 intervals and just loving the run.
The race is 4 miles on Davis Island and then an out and back on Bayshore Blvd. I love this kind of out and back. It meant that I got to see and cheer on everyone coming back in. I loved having something else to concentrate on!
The cheer support was also amazing. There were so many people lining the course to cheer and support! Leo caught me at mile 5 and took this fantastic photo! I wanted to high five Pirate Trixie!
The aid stations and volunteers were plentiful and well executed! The only thing I would suggest is putting the timing mat at the turn-around. It was placed at the 10K point and after that there were a ton of places where people could cut the course no problem!
One of the things I enjoyed was the mile marker man! He indicated that we only had 1 mile left to go!
The best and worst part of this race was the finish. As I was coming into the finish I thought I saw the finish line and picked up the pace a bit (finish strong) but it turns out that what I saw was the starting line for the 8K race. Not only did I have to keep running another .2 to the finish line but there were hundreds of people lined up to run the next race. This meant that I was not able to stop running cause everyone was watching and cheering. UGH I was not prepared to leave it all in the last .2 miles.
The most awesome part of this race was and is the medal! I just wanted to finish so I could get a pirate medal, which I got! I also got a very awesome race! I can’t wait to do it again next year! Maybe next year I’ll even do a challenge! If you happen to be in Tampa Bay next February plan to come on Gasparilla Race weekend!