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Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Tampa, Florida
United States
Gasparilla Distance Classic Association
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 56m 9s
Overall Rank = 1233/4772
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 25/278
Pre-race routine:

With a 6a start, I have to get up too early for this race to have any sort of "routine" other than to get myself dressed and ready to go. Coffee, please.
Event warmup:

We got held up in traffic for parking, so warmup was reduced to moving quickly to the corrals and then choosing the wrong one. Crap.
  • 1h 56m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 52s  min/mile

Dear Diary,

When running a race with nearly 5,000 people and when that race attempts to move that many people over a two-lane narrow bridge within the first half mile of said race, well, it's gonna be painfully slow.

My brother and I ran, so traveled together from his house in the monsoon-like weather leading up to the race. As we approached downtown Tampa, we were assaulted by flying palm fronds and it felt as if the wind would push the car off the road. Then, the rain came. In buckets. Yay. This was going to be a *great* day.

Luckily, it took us at least 30 minutes to get parked because we were in the absolute wrong lane for the garage, but we were in the car for the worst of the weather, and it began to clear up as we finally hustled to the start line. We were among the few people who were dry. Not adequately warmed up, but dry.

The race was divided into 2 start times, so 2 corrals (seriously? 2 corrals for 5,000 people?). All the 2-hour and under folks were in the first corral (I passed tons and tons of those people, so apparently, they lied). Everybody else was relegated to the second corral, which started 5 minutes later. Due to our rush to get to the start line before the start, we managed to hop in the wrong corral and didn't know it until the announcer mentioned that we were already 5 minutes into the second wave and had not yet crossed the starting line. So, we finally crossed the starting line, at a dead walk, nearly 10 minutes after the first gun. Crap.

Then, we finally started running. For 3 steps. Walk some more. Run a little. Run into people. Run around the walkers (people in the second corral were truthful). Deep breath. Stay calm. Run on the sidewalk. Finally, after nearly 3 miles, the road cleared and the sun came up. Time to go.

At this point, I was pretty sure my first mile was nearly 12 minutes (David confirmed by saying when he looked at his watch at mile 1, it said 11:41). I lost him right around there, but we were running different paces anyway.

The weather had cleared, although it was still cloudy, and the wind was pretty stiff. I didn't notice it much until we got back to Bayshore, and for the 4 miles out, it was pretty much at our backs. It certainly helped me maintain my pace. The temps started to drop, as well, so I was getting a bit chilled. When we turned around, the wind was a lot in our faces and gusting pretty strongly at points. And I was getting tired. The effort of getting through the masses of humanity and trying to find a pace that would still get me, at least, under 2 hours, was taking its toll. Good thing the race wasn't any longer.

My goal was to catch up with the 2:00 pace leader from the first corral. The first pace leader I passed was the 2:30 pace guy. I had a long way to go. I did, finally, catch up...right at the finish line. I had seen the group up ahead of me on the final stretch and was trying to find the last bits of energy in my legs to get there. Then, just as I was in the homestretch, the 2:00 pace leader was standing off to the side, just short of the finish line, urging the runners in because they were still under 2 hours. Phew.

Then, ouch.
What would you do differently?:

Start in a better place. Not sure there is a better place, though, unless you are an elite.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked with my friend Linae, who I had passed on the back part of Bayshore. Stopped short of the tunnel to wait for David. Sat my tired tush down on the curb and tried not to shiver.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mass of humanity and narrow bridge.

Event comments:

I probably will continue to run this race when I am in the area, but gosh almighty, they need a better start.

Last updated: 2012-02-01 12:00 AM
01:56:09 | 13.1 miles | 08m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/278
Overall: 1233/4772
Performance: Good
Course: Starts on Bayshore, but turns left over a narrow bridge to Davis Island for most of the first 5 miles. Then back onto Bayshore over same narrow bridge for out-and-back along the bay the last 8 miles. Only hills are up and over the bridge. Otherwise very flat and potentially very fast course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-03-09 11:12 AM

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Madison, MS
Subject: Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon
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