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!