It’s hard to believe this was my third year to run this race and it is one of my favorites. The first year I did it, I signed up for it just weeks before the race because I saw the awesome dolphin medal at the Gasparilla Expo. I knew I had to have it. What I didn’t realize is that it would become one of the events I look forward to doing it every year.
I drove down to Sarasota from Clearwater the morning of the race and made great time. I even saw a cruise ship going under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, all lit up. It was quite a sight to see!
This year, I was lucky to #RunSarasota with several of my fellow Tampa Bay Bloggers and it was a great time. It’s always fun to run into people you know and catch up before and after the race. I also knew going into this that I was going to be slower than slow because I had not run in the five weeks prior to the race. Crazy work and just being super busy meant that running took a backseat. I knew, though, that one way or another I would finish. And if I can be honest here, at this point, I am really running to have fun and not break any crazy half marathon records.
Thanks to Haley and Caitlyn for the fun tattoos!
Fortunately, I started the race with Jessica and Caitlyn. After around mile 4, Jessica ran ahead of us, still on a high from running a 15K the day before. Caitlyn and I ran and walked, and then ran and walked some more, all the way to the finish line. We always have things to talk and laugh about, so it makes the miles and the time go by quickly.
I also happen to love the course. It starts just as the sun is starting to rise, so by the time we are heading over the John Ringling bridge and causeway, there is a beautiful sunrise. After the causeway, we make our way around St. Armand’s Circle which I just love. From there we head back over the causeway and run a stretch along Tamiami Trail. Being honest, this might be my least favorite part of the course, just because of the traffic that backs up here and it’s hot. Once we turn towards the Ringling Museum of Art, it’s a pretty route again going along the water and through a pretty neighborhood. We end up back on Tamiami Trail for the last mile and then turn to the finish line.
Jessica and Caitlyn
We’re so silly. Selfies are our thing…
Before I started the race, I snapped a photo of the start / finish line and captioned it “Start lines are fun, finish lines are better!” What is it about a finish line that makes it so exciting. This line that you cross over and feel an instant sense of accomplishment and happiness. It just never gets old.
Another thing I love, love, love about Sarasota Half Marathon is that your race photos are FREE. So often I don’t end up with photos because they’re so expensive. And these came out great. I happen to love this photo which was taken just as we rounded the turn towards the finish line.
I finished in 3:17:33 with Caitlyn by my side. My time didn’t matter, I was just thrilled to have that beautiful dolphin medal around my neck and another race checked off my list. It was truly a beautiful day on the water. Just beautiful….
I have to send out huge thanks to Caitlyn for sticking with me the whole way. Not running for 5 weeks made a huge difference in how I ran it and had I been alone, I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. I’m lucky to call her my friend!
On my last half marathon I ran in February, I had terrible knee pain. Something I’ve only experienced since after my marathon. I decided for this one, I was going to wear KT Tape on both knees and hope for the best. I was AMAZED that I didn’t have any knee pain at all. None. That stuff is amazing. Overall I was sore from not running the five weeks prior, but by the next day I was fine. And again, NO knee pain. This made me very happy.
If you want to run the Sarasota Half Marathon in 2016, registration is already open! Don’t miss out on their registration blitz and save 35% on fees if you register by this Sunday, March 22. After that it goes to $77 on Monday and then up to the regular fee. This race sold out early this year, so if you have any interest in running, I suggest you register NOW!
Disclaimer: I received a free race entry as part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers for the Sarasota Half Marathon in exchange for my review and promotion of this event. All opinions are my own.