The morning of February 25th was a BLAST!! The Tampa Bay Gasparilla Distance Classic is an annual road race with over 30,000 participates who join together for a weekend filled with fun and a variety of races to choose from. The races are typically during a weekend in February following the Gasparilla Pirate Festival that is held a few weeks earlier. The 15k and 5k are scheduled on a Saturday, then Sunday incorporates the Half Marathon and 8 Miler. I’m hoping to sign up for both the 15k and 5k next year…so a back to back race extravaganza that I might regret afterwards, ha!
It was so much fun this year though. We drove over an hour in the morning before the sun rose up and found an awesome parking spot about a block away from the starting line. We headed over to the race expo to pick up our packets and had some time to snoop around the booths before the crowd took over. We ended up purchasing The Stick that helps roll out the knots in your muscles. I used one years ago and never thought to get one for myself…TA-DA…got it! I highly recommend!
The morning weather looked like it wanted to rain and even ended up sprinkling a little before race time, but luckily it held out. It turned into a beautiful day and the race route was great! We ran along Bayshore Blvd right next to Hillsborough Bay and watched the sun bounce off the water. We were in the third wave of racers with a pace time of 40-45 minutes. Our goal was to beat that time…and WE DID!!
It’s been years since Mark and I ran in a 5k together. I was so proud of Mark too, especially since he didn’t train much for this race. We kept a 1min/1min interval throughout the entire race and ended up beating 39 minutes! We were keeping a good pace and weaved in and out through many of the racers.
One of my favorite moments was when we were at the halfway point. There were some retired veterans handing out Krispy Kreme doughnuts to all the runners. I waved and smiled as I ran by, but when I looked back to see where Mark was…here he comes sprinting up to me with a doughnut hanging out of his mouth, ha! I should’ve known he’d sneak one in.
The last few weeks I’ve been improving my pace and have been well below an 11 minute mile (~10:35min/mile). This month’s race is March 18, The Color Run!! Mark and I are both racing in this one together again! We can’t wait! Years ago we signed up for one, but something came up and we couldn’t make it.
I’m so excited! I have officially signed up for a 5k race for all months except October, November and December!! I’m thinking I might need to bump those up to 10ks…WOO HOO!!