Day 2- Gasparilla Lime Cactus Challenge Recap

Before we jump into Day 2, click here if you missed the recap of Day 1.  Ok,  are we all caught up now?  I  am moving on!  Gasparilla 8K is Day 2 of the Lime Cactus challenge.  The race had 4608 runners and was held at 9:15 am on Sunday.  This is a much later start time compared to Saturday so we got to sleep in a bit before driving back over to Tampa.

I won’t lie, I slept with my compression socks on so I was feeling good and ready to run!  We had a slightly different start line on Sunday so we chose a different parking garage.  Still it was an easy process and I love no race day parking drama!  I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drank a water bottle full of NUUN on the way over.

Belinda and I snapped a couple of pics and headed to the start line.  The weather was slightly cooler and the humidity was half of what it was the day before.  This Florida runner was smiling!  I immediately noticed a lot more kids running this race so I mentally prepared to hurdle a 10-year-old if needed.  I loved the fact that our longer run was first and today would be a nice breezier run.  Less than 5 miles to the end was my mantra!

We ran part of the course that we ran the previous day.  Again there was great crowd and course support! Truly we all know how important those water station workers are.  I loved how they were handing out water and cheering people on by their bib name.  We ran out a couple of miles and then it was time to turn around.  Unlike yesterday, the second half of the race was not only breezy it was downright windy!  We were running right into it!  A couple of times I wondered if I was even moving!

If you were running the Gasparilla half you were running on Sunday.  They were lucky!  Clearly Sunday was the best running day and they had beautiful weather for a half.   I quickly was given not one but two medals and I grabbed my water and headed to find Belinda.  I was happy with my speedier time!  53:39  87/307 in my age group AVG HR 169

The Columbian restaurant treated all the Day 2 Sunday runners to a nice post race lunch.  Fresh paella, black beans and rice, their famous salad and cuban bread.  This is the stuff runners dream of!  The line moved quickly and we actually found a nice table to sit and enjoy our feast!

After our feast we grabbed a quick celebratory cocktail and walked over to the park for the rest of the after party.  The band was playing and the beer was flowing.  Everyone was having a great time!  They  also have a results tent set up.  If you finish in the top 10% of your age group you get a fancy Gasparilla coffee cup.  One day cup, I am going to get you!!!

It was fun to hang around on Day 2 and see some of the awards being given out.  There were really some elite runners there and it was cool to see who we actually shared a course with.  I saw a lot of people standing in line to get a picture with Meb.

So to recap, Gasparilla Distance Classic offers a 5K, 8K, 15K and half marathon.  There is also 3 levels of challenges.  The Lime Cactus challenge that I ran was the 15K plus 8K.  The Amber challenge is the 15K, 5K and then the half and the Ultra challenge well, you guessed it.  You run all four races in 2 days!  Of course my BRF wants to bump up to the Amber challenge next year.  Really?  Her inner weekend warrior bad ass must have been talking!  Until next year,  ARRRRRRRRGH!

Ok, so who is running with me next year?  You up for a challenge?  Do we go big or go home? 


30 Responses so far.

  1. I’ve always wanted to do Gasparilla and your recaps sealed the deal! Love all that bling!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…5 Signs That You Might be a Trendy RunnerMy Profile

  2. I actually mentioned races like this on my blog post…where they offer various races on different days. Of course, I’m a “go big or go home” kind of gal 😉 Next year? Party at MB’s?
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Current fitness trends that have me smilingMy Profile

  3. Kimberly G says:

    Awesome recap ! This looks like a fun race to do to and I love that they offered different distances throughout the weekend.
    Kimberly G recently posted…Fitness Trends: What Should I Try?My Profile

  4. Nice work! What a fun event! And I have to say I loved your skirt spandex combo!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Boston Marathon Training is Back on Track!My Profile

  5. Marcia says:

    Hmmmmm Amber challenge? You know I’m up for whatever. Yeah let’s get you that cup!
    Marcia recently posted…Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Headphones Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  6. What a feast!!! My Mom and I used to drive to Tampa to shop and on the way eat at that restaurant. Good memories.
    Congrats on a great race series and rocking this challenge!!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Fashion Friday – Black Swing Dress & Fitted Denim JacketMy Profile

  7. Karen says:

    You did great!! This sounds like so much fun. I think I may try to talk my hubby into a weekend next year.
    I’ve been sleeping in my compression lately, it can work wonders 🙂
    Congrats MB!

  8. oh that does sound like a fun race weekend! I also like that the longer run was the first day. Congrats!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…5 Steps To A Better Night’s Sleep + Sleep Swag GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Rachel says:

    I also prefer no parking drama before a race. That’s one thing that totally stresses me out. Sounds (and looks) like you had a blast!!
    Rachel recently posted…Comment on 5 Awesome Activities for Your Bucket List by vickiMy Profile

  10. Great recap! This sounds like it was a fun race weekend! I love races that offer so many different distances.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…March StrideBox RevealMy Profile

  11. Sounds like a fun challenge! And how awesome that they provided a lunch after the race!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Trying New Things and HRM ComparisonMy Profile

  12. Funny how my post today was about these “challenge” races but in a different way! I do love all the cute medals though! Congrats MB!

  13. What great running weather, and what an awesome post race spread. The makings for a perfect race day!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Friday Five – Yay for RnRDC Weekend!My Profile

  14. Definitely go big next year!!! Even though I think it’s fun to read about these challenges, I’ve yet to participate in one. They weren’t as big a deal back in the day when my mantra was, “Run all the races!!!” These days I try to listen t my body and know I’d be tempted to race all the races and that wouldn’t be good for me.

    Congrats on doing such a great job. I loved your recaps! BTW, that post race meal is quite impressive!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…You! Call 911 And Bring The AED!My Profile

    • MB says:

      Thank you! I loved my first challenge! I wondered how my body would hold up too- the key was not to press myself to much and enjoy! That post race meal was the bomb! 🙂

  15. Hell yea we go B.I.G.! We are going for the Ultra all 4 races baby! How much fun would that be? Do we get drinks after every race???
    Tricia Vaughn recently posted…Weekly Wrap 84 Weekend With HollyMy Profile

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About MB

I am a wife, mother, stepmother, working healthcare financial professional and a 5K enthusiast! I love to travel, try new products, meet new friends, eat great food and drink great wine! Why not run around the world in my tutu and tennies?
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