Tampa, FL

February 28, 2010       6:00 am Start 1/2 and Full Marathon

15K and 5K on Saturday-Half Marathon and Marathon on Sunday

2010 was the last year for the Marathon.

Pre-Race

The expo was open all day Friday and Saturday and is a big one-lots of great stuff!  Chuck and Esther picked up Bill on Friday from the airport and had a great lunch at Season’s 52 in Tampa – my favorite restaurant!!  Bill picked up our packets for us and Mike.  Kari and I drove up after she got off work and met up at the hotel to go to dinner.  We checked in and walked across the bridge to eat dinner at Jacksons. Ira, Jeri, Celia, Robin, Leslie, & Melanie all joined us.  We stopped for a quick gelato on our way back to the hotel.  We went down Saturday morning and watched the 15K.  It was drizzling and chilly outside.

Sally and Esther are having way too much fun!

Fred is “tucking in” behind Doug…

Chuck looking stylish…

and Chuck J. hanging with the girls…

We all met up after the race and headed on the trolley down to YBor City for a great Cuban lunch at Carmines.

Black beans & rice. cuban sandwiches, & crabcakes!!

We walked around YBor, had some sorbet and Nutella crepes-yummm!

Kari keep your eyes open girl!

Joe is still wearing his chip…hehe!

We went back to the hotel for some rest and then Kari, Bill, and I went to Bella’s Italian Cafe (although we had to wait an hour) and had a fantastic pasta dinner.  As we waited, we turned around and saw Vanessa and Elaina!

We headed back to the hotel a little later than desired.  Mike and Steady stopped by to pick up his race packet and get a key to our room for Steady to use during the race.  We turned in early–6 am start!  There was a huge party on our floor…4 phone calls, two personal visits to the front desk, and one hour of sleep later, the alarm went off!  It would be a long day!

Transportation

We chose a hotel in downtown Tampa right down the street from the finish line, the Marriott Waterside.  Mike drove in from his hotel and parked downtown with no problem.

Course

The start is located at Platt Street and Parker Street and finishes on beautiful Bayshore Boulevard; Tampa’s most scenic waterfront road.  The course is flat, fast and mostly waterfront and runs through beautiful and historic neighborhoods including Davis Islands, Downtown Tampa, Riverfront Park, Ballast Point and Bayshore Boulevard. We went down about an hour early to the convention center-here they have bathrooms, the bag check, and a nice warm place to hang out while you wait for the race start. We hung out visited,made last minute bathroom visits (there are bathrooms upstairs with no lines) and headed to the start.  We waited a bit too long and had to rush to the front to get a good starting spot.  Bill, Mike, and Joe lined up with me and off we went.  We lost Joe pretty early in the crowd.  Bill, Mike and I ran together until part way around Davis Island when Bill decided to back off a bit since he had a 50 miler coming up.  I OVERDRESSED!  I threw off a long sleeved TShirt and handed my cool arm warmers off to Bill in the first few miles–so it was down to a singlet.  Mike and I had a pretty fun time running together until the last few miles when we got to the park.  I lost him at a water stop and started feeling this adrenaline rush and picked it up a little.  I peeled off to use the loo (or small shrub) and Mike went flying past-I spent the next few miles trying to catch him-ugh!  I caught him around 21 miles and stuck with him a mile before I told him to go on-he was very close to a PR and still looked great!  I still tried to hang on, thinking I could catch him (maybe pass him) in the last few meters…but he continued and I was crashing fast and had a terrible foot/toe cramp-I get these sometimes-who knows why!?  I passed by Martha, Kari, Chuck, and Justin around 23 miles and was so happy to see them!  It really pepped me up!  It is funny how seeing your pals can change your focus!  I tried to perk up and run strong through the finish, as I knew Esther would be there and sure enough I heard her yell!  Yea!  It was done-not quite what I would have liked to have run-but a very beautiful, fun day and a very good time!

Results

Mike  3:29.43

Cristy  3:31.13  3rd AG

Bill  3:58.41

Kari  4:44.27

Martha  4:44.59

Chuck  4:44.27  3rd AG

Ira  4:49.04

Justin  4:44.26  1st Marathon!  Woo-hoo!

T-Shirts  & Medals

The medals for the Tampa Marathon are always amazing!  The long sleeve tech shirt is my favorite!  It’s a great fabric!

Post Race

They have a great post race feed!  The regular stuff plus soda, smoothies, and hot food.  There is a post race party with beer (a ticket for one on your bib) in the plaza in front of the convention center.  I finished and saw Mike right away.  I walked down and got a coke and a couple of smoothies and walked back up the bridge towards the finish where Mike was, and held his stuff while he walked down to get a smoothie, but they already ran out!  We ran a 3:30 and the smoothies were already gone!  My foot was bothering me and I was getting cold, so Mike and I went into the convention center to get our bags and warm up while we waited for Bill.  We waited a few minutes, got our stuff, and decided to walk back to the hotel and get a head start on showers.  Bill came in shortly after with the others trailing behind.  We all got cleaned up and headed down to the Starbucks at the Embassy.  After reflecting on the race and having some warm coffee, we headed back to the hotel, checked out, and met up with Ira and Jeri at First Watch for breakfast.  What a great day!

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