Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gasparilla Half Marathon

It was a early 3:00 am as I headed out into the foggy cool morning to pick up my running friend, Jen and head to Tampa for the Gasparilla Half Marathon. This would be my first time running in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Challenge, a four race series (5k, 8k, 15k. and Half) over two days and with new PR dancing in my head, I decided to just run the Half, since I didn't know what to expect. Jen and I had visited the area the day before to pick up our race bibs and check out the running expo that was held in the Tampa Convention Center.

I must admit, that alone had been an overwhelming experience, with all the traffic, road closures, parking problems, expensive parking garages and people everywhere. But to our surprise, when we arrived the morning of the race, all was calm, quite and glowing in the lights of the large buildings all around us.


We found a parking spot pretty easy and headed over to the starting line which was probably a good 3/4 mile away.
The race went off without to much fan fare and the route was good, weaving through the town to start and ending up by the water for the majority of the race. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast and foggy and I couldn't see much of the water for the entire race. Plus, there also wasn't much in the way of entertainment on the course, unless you count a man trying to play a keyboard and another man blaring Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" from his radio as he played air guitar.


The race ended close to the convention center, near the waterfront district and if it hadn't been so foggy it would of been a gorgeous finish. After the getting your medal you were able to take finisher pictures with some actual pirates and then on to the recovery food.

Jen and I were pleasantly surprised to find a local restaurant serving up a warm breakfast, besides the normal bananas, granola bars and water, but boy oh boy did we have to wait for that meal!

All in all, it was a good race. It wasn't as entertaining as a runDisney race but then again it wasn't as expensive either.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Walt Disney World Inaugural Minnie 10k

This January, I had the pleasure of participating in the Inaugural Minnie 10k at Walt Disney World in Florida. I personally love running the 10k distance, so I was pretty excited when Disney announce that they would be adding this race to their already impressive line-up, during Marathon Weekend. 
Besides, the perfect race distance for a novice or seasoned runner, this particular race route is one of my favorites. I particular like the fact that you enter Epcot, run around the countries, then exit on to the boardwalk before returning back to Epcot. It really keeps you motivated and entertained and nothing sounds better than your feet pounding down on the wood planks of the boardwalk.

For this race, a group of my running friends and I decided to dress-up as a group. We all decided what better group costume than a crew of pirates, from the Caribbean of course!
The Crew of Pirates Before The Race
Part of the crew after the race.

 So, if you are thinking of running a Disney race, and wondering which one to start with,  I would recommend this one highly. You will enjoy yourself throughout the whole course and even have the energy to hit the parks right after you cross the finish line.
See you there next year!