Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay Recap and 2015 registration discounts

Happy St. Patricks Day! This redhead will be enjoying corned beef and cabbage later tonight. Irish Car Bombs may be present.

On Sunday morning, we had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay. This was our second consecutive year doing the relay portion. As I have mentioned a few times on here, the 10K and 15K distances are my favorite. When you mix that distance along with the excitement of a Half Marathon, it is pretty much my perfect world.
Here are the top three reasons I LOVE the Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay
  1. The Scenery - going over John Ringling Bridge at dawn is one of the most peaceful scenes you can experience. I have been the fortunate relay partner for the past two years to get this leg (which means running over the mile long bridge twice in a 3 mile span). Each time, I have been in complete awe and take a moment to enjoy my surroundings.
  2. The medal - See photo above, nothing else is really needed to say here. My friend Amanda commented on Instagram that if Captain America ever lost his shield, she would know where to send him. The Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay medal is the largest in FL. Relay participants also receive the same medal as half marathon participants. 
  3. It is sponsored by First Watch, one of my favorite breakfast chains. They provide a brunch, which was named best post breakfast brunch by Competitor Magazine.
Our alarms went off at 4:30am on Sunday. We left Tampa to head for Sarasota at 5:15, giving us a 45 minute window once we got into town. Typically, we would have spent the weekend over there making a racecation out of it - but with the wedding in 6 months, we have to be more cautious on our spending. It wasn't a bad drive until we hit Sarasota.....then this happened...........
We hit Tamiami Trail (which I truly believe is Siri's favorite street name to say) and it was a parking lot. I had permission to park in Media Parking, which was right by the start finish line. By the time we got to that turnoff, cones were everywhere and no parking attendants to move them. We ended up parking in the Marina a mile away - the time on our watch was 6:55 am - do the math folks, I am by no means can do a 5 minute mile. We started running fast, without a warm up. Every volunteer we passed were calling out the minutes left until it started. We also had to pick up our relay anklets!! The second we got to the start finish line, the wheel chairs took off and the announcers said we had two minutes. We flew to the relay tent and I merged into the last pack of the corrals since the race had already officially started. Somehow, my friend Heidi spotted me and off we went, no pre-race photos. No pre-race Instagraming....just a screen shot of the awful traffic from my iphone map!!
When Heidi and I finally got to the start line, the clock read 7:07. Miles 1-3 went like this:
Mile 1: I cannot believe I made it. I am so frazzled! Why did I take 3 weeks off without running once!? BAD idea. Another bad idea? Drinking an entire bottle of wine the night before at the Ybor City St. Patrick's Day Parade. Does that mile marker sign say 10:20? We maintained a 10:00ish minute mile with all the weaving we had to do????  Yay, Bag Pipers! Maybe Gabe and I can wear matching kilts for next years race.
Mile 2: Dear bridge - While you allow for some of the most stunning views of Sarasota, I have decided that I hate you. I told Heidi to go on - as I walk up all bridges, hills, etc. and run down them. Halfway up, the wheelchair competitors were heading back! A few minutes later, the first runner came through. I took off going down the bridge and hit mile two, maintaining the 10:00ish mile. I also felt like I was flying and ran way too fast going down that bridge. I overdid it and it took a minute to get myself together.
Mile 3:  I am in St. Armonds Circle! I love this place. I would rather be shopping. Starbucks! Hey, I want that guys coffee. Did I just get passed by a guy pushing a stroller....with two dogs in it? Why yes I did. Phew, I am not seeing things. I need to come back here to go shopping later. Never mind - wedding budgets suck. Gabe is texting me - he wants me to pick up the speed. Crap, here comes the bridge again.
Mile 4-6 went like this:
Mile 4 -I had a baby breakdown when I had to go back over the bridge a second time, so I decided to take in the scenery for a minute to catch my breath. Sarasota is a stunning city. I hope my best friend Keri and her husband Jeff decide to go on their annual anniversary trip to Longboat Key this Spring so we can crash one of their days. Somewhere between mile 4-5 I passed the guy with dogs again.
Mile 5 - I saw a runner fall pretty hard going down the bridge - she tripped over the bridge grates. I would have stopped to help her but there were a ton of others there and I didn't want to get in the way of all the other runners coming down the bridge. I hope she was OK.
Mile 6 - The man with the dogs passed me again. I couldn't grab my phone in time. It was super cute. I really need to pee. I kept telling myself not to walk - there is a gas station right at the transition. Yay, there is the relay transition point. My group was at the extreme end. My portion was over and off Gabe took off. I never got a runner tracker update from that point forward. I was worried after 40 minutes had gone by and I had no updates. I texted him and he told me he was at mile 11. Thank goodness we both run with our cells.
Mile 7-12, Gabe said he felt like he was running on the fast lane of the highway since he was freshly running and the other runners were out there fr 6 miles already. I have not ran this portion of the race before. Maybe I will be nice next year and switch with him :) About 1 minute before Gabe got to me, the dogs passed. I was a little surprised Gabe didn't catch up to them.
Mile 13 - Gabe wore a green shirt and black shorts like 75% of the rest of the runners. I thought I saw him multiple times. Finaly the real Gabe appeared and we ran in together. We got our medals and finished another successful Run Sarasota event!
We finished with a time slower than we both wanted. Yet with my lack of training between races, I am happy with our results. We wanted to finish sub 2, which is very doable in a relay. Our final time was 2:21, which was two minutes faster than our time in 2013!

Start 7:15:45AM
5K Split 7:50:41AM 00:34:56 11:15 min/mi
Relay Transition 8:29:36AM 01:13:51 11:54 min/mi
Finish 9:37:41AM 02:21:56 10:51 min/mi

2015 Sarasota Half Marathon REGISTRATION BLITZ! 
Starting tomorrow, registration will be 55% OFF for one day only!
Wednesday March 19, registration will be 50% OFF
March 20-23 - 45% OFF
Blitz opens at 12 AM midnight EST on March 18th and ends March 23rd at 11:59 PM EST. Blitz pricing is effective for all registrations during the blitz period. Blitz price is determined using the final price. The relay is not included in blitz pricing. Click here to register.

Follow Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay on Facebook | Twitter | Online | hashtag #runSarasota

Now that I am finished for the Winter running season, our goal this Spring and Summer is to work on speed. I will never be a fast runner but I do want to improve. What are your running goals this season?

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