Last weekend I was in beautiful Sarasota for the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay. This was my first time racing the Sarasota Half Marathon. I registered for this race because of last year's awesome dolphin medal and knew this year's medal would be huge too. They claim it's the largest medal in Florida. Yes, it's all about the bling!
It's an hour and a half drive down to Sarasota so my friend Denise and I drove down on Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets from Fit2Run. We didn't want to get up way before the crack of dawn to drive down on race morning so we spent the night with my sister who lives in the area.
Fit2Run was a great packet pick up location (even dog friendly because I had my dog with me). I was disappointed that they were out of the race shirts in the size I registered for. Usually, I would have to pick from the shirts that were left which is so frustrating since I registered 6+ months ago. BUT, they had an organizer writing down names of people in my situation. I'm supposed to be mailed the correct size shirt. Wahoo!
On the morning of the race, we got up, drove to the race start, and parked with no issues. It was freezing cold at only 52 degrees so we hung out in the car, pinned on our bibs, collected our gear (garmins and music)and snacked on peanut butter crackers until we absolutely had to walk to the start. This wasn't going to be a PR for me. My hamstring was still sore
Here I am with
The race started a little after 7:00am with the course taking us over the Ringling Causeway first. I've run over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway many times and figured this causeway would be similar. Plus it would be great training for Iron Girl next month. But the incline on this bridge seemed to go on forever and ever. I felt like we would never reach the top. On our climb, we were entertained by a guy playing the bagpipes and a cool, remote control, helicopter camera.
The course took us around St. Armand's Circle at mile 3. It was a cute, quaint shopping area. I had never been down to that area of Sarasota before but would love to go back and visit. Then it was back over the monstrous bridge. But you what, it wasn't so steep on the way back. This side of the bridge seemed like it was already at a higher elevation. Score! The sun was rising as we started our ascent.
By the time we got the other side of the bridge, we had already finished 5+ miles. The weather was still cool, the sun was up, and the day was beautiful! We even saw a sailor kissing a nurse and some wildlife. heehee
One of our blogging friends, Caroline, takes photos of herself while running. Here are my attempts to capture Denise and I in a running action shot. None of them are very good but we had some great laughs taking them!
So more stretching.
This went on until about the 10.5 mile mark. I've never run injured or with any pains before and let me tell you, it sucked! Then I realized if I ran on the right side of the road with my
I was able to finish without knee pain!
After the race, we met up with other members of our running group, the Suncoast Striders. We snacked on some post race food included yogurt parfaits, bagels with peanut butter, muffins, and beer. I didn't partake in any beer but the rest of the food was delicious. Post-race had a party atmosphere with music and entertainment.
I loved this guy!
Overall, the Sarasota Half Marathon was a great race and I would do it again.
Feast your eyes on my lovely bling!
This was my #5 race for 13 in 2013.