I received free entry to the Gasparilla Lime Challenge as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Ah the 8K. This might have been the most difficult race I have done in a VERY long time. For starters I made the bad decision to cheer for the half marathon. Three hours of standing and cheering prior to running.
I got into the corral about 8:45am with the actual race starting at 9:15am. It was already hot. They were even announcing that it was a yellow flag condition day. Make sure you take fluids at every aid station and take it easy. The nice thing about Gasparilla is it runs along Bayshore Blvd. The bad part is that it runs along Bayshore Blvd. The same gorgeous water views also lack trees and shade!
I started off super tight and was really hoping that my legs would loosen up a bit. Around mile 2.5 I texted my husband and told him I was miserable and not to expect a good time. I was confident I could beat my only other 8K from 6 years ago (thanks Athlinks) but I chucked that. I ended up walking from mile 2.5 – about 3.5
At this point I reached the aid station which had run out of cups. Bless those volunteers who were still standing there with gallons of lukewarm water and trying to offer what they could! I realized if I walked I was going to be out there FOREVER so I decided to go back to running.
I just put my head down and hoped for the best. It was hot and miserable. I decided that next year I might just stick with the 15K! I was very thankful that an 8K was only 5 miles. Sadly, even with the late surge I missed my PR by 2 minutes. I still finished strong but just short of the goal!
I had a great time rocking out the Lime Challenge this year! It was a great motivator that I really needed! The medals are great, the shirts are awesome, and the course (although hot) is gorgeous! I love the Gasparilla races and the atmosphere.
You can also check out a little more detailed report on Bibrave.com to see some specifics!