Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gasparilla Distance Classic 2012 - The Plan, The Course

The Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend is filled with running events.  The expo is Friday and Saturday, while the 15K and 5K is Saturday morning and the Half Marathon and 8K is Sunday (the 8K is referred to as the 5+3K simply because its sponsored by Fifth Third Bank).

The race course is beautiful....all along Bayshore Boulevard.  If you've ever seen videos/pictures of the Gasparilla Parade in Tampa, its on the same boulevard.  Very park-like with the west side facing older, beautiful homes and the bayfront on the east.

I'm not sure about joining a pace team this time around.  30 minutes prior to the start of the race, the pacer will be holding a sign with your desired pace, so I will have time to stretch near the pacer introduces themselves.

Now, why I'm questioning about joining a pacer.  Let's see....I've been interested in going a different route for my running club.  I love the long Sunday runs and the bridge runs on Tuesday night, but I simply don't think I can bear to run at 8am Saturday mornings, even near the beach.  It will simply be too dang hot!  So, I've put some feelers out to the IRun Mommies team, which was founded in this area.  They will be running the 15k as well, and I hope to introduce myself to them and see if I'm a good fit.  I think I run about the pace/distance that many of their members we shall see.  Their Saturday morning runs (while a 30 minute drive for me) start at done before the major heat kicks in.  Also, they are ALLLLL mommies of younger kids.  Would be nice to bond a bit there :)

But...back to the Gasparilla.  I signed up for the 15k a few months ago before the medals came out.  I tell you though, if I saw the medal to the half marathon beforehand, I would have definitely done that!  I thought it would be too much coming out from a weekend at the Princess, but for that bling, I'd be sooo there!  Don't get me wrong, the 15k medal is nice...but the half medal?  I can't find an image online, but just TRUST ME...its fab.

Now, I'm still trying to determine if I want my kids to suffer through an early morning trip to Tampa for the pirate theme.  I'm sure it will be plentiful for the race participants, just not sure if it would be worthwhile for the spectators.  If its really not that great for them, I'd rather them sleep in!  Hopefully I can find out more at the expo.

So, thats where I will be Saturday morning at 7:05am....  once I survive the crazy lunch time tomorrow (trying to drive into Tampa to the expo and back in an hour...not happening, but I will try), I'll give an update on that experience!

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