My first postpartum race – the Fit Foodie 15k – is in the books!
It all started Friday evening when I went and grabbed my packet from a local running running store, Fit 2 Run. Since I get off of work early on Fridays, I was there right at 4pm so I could beat the post work rush.
I was in and out in no time at all with my bib and tshirt. Everything was sorted by last name, so it was very easy to just walk up and grab my bib. I also grabbed my friend’s bib, in case there is anyone wondering if they will let you do that! She just gave me a copy of her id and her race confirmation just in case I needed that to prove I was legit (which I didn’t even need!).
I got home, relaxed a bit and had a great dinner with the family. The alarm was set for bright and early the next morning!
I woke up at 5:15, pumped, drank some coffee, and was out the door by 5:45. It took me about 8 minutes to get in and get parked downtown – I love when races are close to home! I sat in the car for a few minutes to finish up my coffee and then headed down to where the action was! It was pretty quiet before the race – the lack of music to pump everyone up was definitely noticed. I’m wondering if there is some sort of rule as when they could start on the loud speakers because of residential housing close by. If there was, I completely understand that. If not, then next year they should definitely consider getting some music playing to get everyone excited!
The start line was a small walk from where the packet pickup and post race festivities were being held, so I followed the signs that way. I was a little confused at first, but then realized the best way to find the start was to just follow everyone else! I made it over to the start and saw a friend (hey Krissy!) so we caught up for a couple of minutes before the national anthem was sung.
The start was very roomy! I was actually surprised how small the race actually was. There were probably just a few hundred people who did the 15k. My guess is given it is a longer race in September – in Florida – people may have been a little hesitant to race. I found it to be perfect timing for everyone doing fall marathon. It’s a great check on fitness to test all of the crazy summer training! That is just what my friend Meg did. She ran 9 miles before the race, met up with me at the start, and then ran the 15k with me. She ended up with 18.5 miles for the day, which fit perfectly in line with her training plan for NYC.
Anyhow, the gun went off and we all started off on our way to Bayshore Boulevard! It was an out and back course, like most every race in Tampa that wants to use the great accessibility and water front views. Since it was a smaller race, there was no bottle necking or needing to weave in and out, which was so nice! Meg and I just got in our groove and ran while we chatted, catching up on anything and everything!
Before the race, I grabbed a water bottle to drink while we waited for it to start. I am so, so glad I did. The only issue I really had with this race was the lack of support on the course. There was not nearly enough water or volunteers to give it out. I think for future races, they need to provide a water station every 1 to 1.5 miles. September in Florida is just so hot and humid, we needed the extra hydration, without a doubt. If I was truly racing, this oversight would have really hurt me. Since it was definitely a training run type of pace, I didn’t mind stopping to walk and drink a whole cup, or two at the water stops they did have.
My favorite part of any run or race on Bayshore is getting to the half way point, and then turning around to see the Tampa skyline far in the distance. It was a gorgeous morning to be outside!
Meg and I just kept our easy pace the whole way back as well, checking off each mile and celebrating when she got to mile 17 of her long run, which was around 8 miles into the course. It was the longest she had ran in a couple of years and was definitely something to be proud of! We crept up on downtown, and then headed for the finish! We crossed right around the 90 minute mark. I think this was the first time I actually didn’t look at my watch when crossing a finish line, so I can’t be positive of my true finishing time. The results aren’t up yet, but as soon as they are, I’ll be sure to update with my time!
The finish line was right in front of Amalie Arena and was pretty easy to spot from a distance. We made it through with no problem, took a minute to get in a couple of stretches, and then headed for the post race party. You actually had to walk away from the finish to the post race party to get your medal, which was a little bit on the strange side. I can see this being a little bit confusing, so I would maybe change it up a bit for future races. Medals right after the finish is the way to go!
We met up with a few friends, and grabbed a few snacks at the post race party. This was the Fit Foodie Race after all!
There were some incredible snacks and samplers for all of us to try – it was definitely not your normal post race bananas and granola bars!
I am definitely looking forward to running this race again and hope the folks in charge will make a few small tweaks, especially adding more water stops and volunteers to the course. Overall, it was a really great race and a nice addition to the Tampa race scene.
A huge congrats to Meg for such a killer training run! Can’t wait to see you crush NYC!!
A big thank you to the Fit Foodie Run for giving me an entry in exchange for my honest feedback on the race weekend! I really appreciate the opportunity to run with you all!