Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gasparilla Half Marathon Review

Source & Race Info
Gasparilla Half Marathon Review

Sorry for the lack of updates.  Life and training have me slammed lately.

Today was the Gasparilla 13.1 in Tampa, FL.  Gasparilla is Tampa's version of Mardi Gras but much more tame and is pirate themed.  You can read about it here.  I grew up in the Tampa/St Petersburg/Clearwater area so it was nice to be back in my old stomping grounds.

A very hot and sweaty Mr Half TRIing

Gasparilla makes a weekend out of running. Saturday there is a 15K and 5K.  On Sunday they have a 13.1 mile and a 5+3K.  For crazy folks (!! cough Bonnie cough !!) you can elect to do all 4 races.  If you did all 4 races you got a medal and t-shirt for each race.  You also got a special medal indicating your craziness.   All the races are WELL attended.  There was over 10,000 runners for the 5K, over 7,000 runners for the 13.1 mile run and I heard the grand total for all the races was 22,000.

Race Grade A+
Bonnie loves my EMZ shirt!!  Here is EMZ in Tampa, FL after the race.

This race was a great race in every way.  There is not one thing to complain about (which is surprising for someone who likes to critique races). 

The water stops were well supplied and had a ton of volunteers.  Each stop had both Gator-Aid (which was too strong) and water.  There was no food or supplements at any of the water stops but with so many runners at the event it would very costly to supply food. 

The end of the race had plenty of food and water.  The Columbia (a local famous Cuban restaruant) supplied the end of the race food.  This food consisted of a side salad, black beans and rice and paella. This was a great meal and a nice change from the normal bagels and bananas (which were also being handed out).

The medals are really well made and very heavy.  Much better quality than the normal cheapo medals.

The course is as flat as a pancake and would be great for a PR if you could break out of the massive pack.  The course also runs along the scenic Tampa Bay inlet.  It was pretty watching the sunrise over the water while running.

Jolly Roger

There were plenty of people along the race cheering the runners on.  Along the course locals provided their own entertainment. Local charities and high school bands & cheerleaders were all along the course cheering the runners on and acting crazy.  There were several people playing their guitars and singing.  There was also a mime, a banjo player, several DJs and two people juggling fire balls.

This was a great race and I would recommend it to everyone!

The Bling

??? You figure it out ???


  1. What a great race! I will have to add that one to my list. I mean it has pirates!

  2. Will run for booty. Too funny!

  3. Glad you had a great time out at Gasp!!! I am so jealous! It's been a year since I was there! *sigh* I miss Florida!!!!

    P.S. How did you do? You didn't mention.

  4. I love this race! It was my first marathon and I'm so sad it's gone. I wanted to do the half this year but didn't make it out there. Maybe I'll go next year and do the Ultra Challenge :)

  5. Yep I'm crazy. It was a great training run for next months 50k. Better than running around town for 30 miles.

  6. Reading this makes me wish I was doing the half in my neck of the 'hood this weekend! Glad you loved the race.

  7. Sounds like a great race, but personally I run to lose booty :)

  8. This looks like a great race, I keep seeing advertisements for it and am always intrigued! thanks for letting us know more about it. I love the medal!