Last year, after having #allthefun at the 2014 Sarasota Half Marathon, I decided to keep up the momentum and registered during the blitz pricing (seriously. $45) and return to this local race – especially since it was going to be an anniversary year. Sure enough, the swag delivered – cool medal (see at the end of the recap!!) as well as a snazzy MPG jacket – but this year, I was running solo, and just three weeks after Tokyo, I was pretty undertrained, but knew I’d have fun anyway.
As in most halves that I run without PR aspirations, my “for fun” and “happy” goal is roughly 2 hours – and frankly, given the jungle-y humidity (99 percent at 7 AM start) I went in with the mindset that I’d be pretty happy with whatever finish the day would give me.
That easy-going approach (plus my debut use of running with a GoPro!) proved to be a winning combination, as I set out on my 19th half marathon (wow, does time fly!) and not only hit my time goal (1:59:51 with two potty stops and plenty of GoPro doofus-ing around) but serve as an incredible reminder of how much I love running and living here in Sarasota.
A few thoughts:
- I broke several “race day” rules – wore a brand new sports bra (Under Armour Armour Bra), tried out new Compression Sleeves (Zensah Ultra Compression Leg sleeves) and ran in new shoes (the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante) – and you know what – it was all fine. In fact, I may have found a second favorite pair of running shoes!!
- This race was a lot bigger than last year! Between the half and the half relay, it apparently was right around 5,000 participants.
- I was glad to see corrals this year! The only complaint I had last year was that the start was very congested, so just breaking the start area up a little helped a lot!
- It took a little while for the course marshals to clear the course, and the race started about 5-10 minutes late…wasn’t too bad, but it was a little awkward waiting, haha.
- I love running the bridge. I took a picture.
- Another thing I loved about this race? Knowing so many runners! At the major turn around area (rounding the circle leaving St. Armand’s) I was able to cheer on some of my favorite local fasties (Fernanda! Jo! Johnnie! Rob!), and when I made the turn, I saw many more friends (Jen! Jean! Stephanie! Kathryn!) There’s definitely something to be said about seeing friendly faces on course.
- On top of seeing fellow runners, I was stoked to see some of my favorites spectating!
Blitz pricing is scheduled to open again tomorrow, and I am thinking that next year, I’d like to sign both hubs and I up for the relay, since that would be a really manageable distance for him to cover, and it’d be cool to run with him again!
What are your favorite local races?