My Fit Foodie 15K recap- Tampa Style
The Fit Foodie race series was coming to Florida and I knew I wanted to be a part! Tampa is only an hour commute for me so I was definitely in! I read a couple of blog reviews from the Virginia race and knew I wanted to be a part of it. Fit Foodie? Oh yah, that is me! I exercise so I can eat and um, yes, drink!
The Fit Foodie event is promoted as an entire weekend event. They offered both a 5k and 15K, sweat sessions, kick off party and weekend packages. With this run just a week before Cape Cod, my BRF and I chose to run the 15K.
They offered a pre race packet pick up at a Fit2Run store in Tampa but that just was not convenient for us. The 15K start time was 6:45a.m. so we decided on a 4:45a.m. departure time from Winter Haven. The drive over at that time in the morning is super easy but we were not given clear directions on where to park. I police office pointed us to a parking garage and for $5.00 we left the car and headed to packet pick up.
It was 6a.m. and still dark. They were still setting up much of the park. Check in was easy once we found it but it required me to stand in 2 lines, one for the bib and one for the shirt. Although Belinda and I signed up early Belinda was told there were no more small shirts left and she was handed a medium. First note, This is one of the ugliest race shirts I have received in a long time! I mean just ugly. UGH. We walked back to the parking garage to drop off shirts and grab our stuff. I talked Belinda into sneaking/walking into the Marriott hotel and using a nice bathroom before we headed to the start.
The start line was lively! I gave the crowd the quick eyeball . There wasn’t as many runners as I thought there would be. I would guess there might have been more 5K runners. They might have been the smart ones! The sun wasn’t up and it was already 77 degrees and let’s not bother talking about the humidity, I am over it.
The Fit Foodie course followed the same path that the Gasparilla run does except there was one huge difference. Other than the cops on the roads and the few folks at the water stations there were no race supporters. No cheerleaders. no fans, no DJ’s playing music, nothing! It was a long hot 9.3 miles! I was obsessed with the pacing function on my Garmin and I tried to keep steady the first 6 miles. 9:26/10:01/10:09/10:12/10:39/10:29
Running miles 7, 8, and 9, I was just hot and truthfully I am tired of being hot. I have worked really hard this summer running thru this swampy heat but I was done! I stopped a couple of times to walk a bit and catch my breath. The fast kids were in front of me and the slow kids behind me. Belinda was about 8 minutes ahead of me. I hit that last bridge and I was toast. I got up and over and I could finally see the end! YAH! 11:10/11:19/11:43
Volunteers had bottles of waters for us at the end but then you had to cut across the arena back to the park to get to the vitality village. This by far was the best part of the event. We were given our medal and we stopped to pick up our goodie bag. Belinda and I made a beeline for the first tent! The folks from cooking light did a great job with the food presentations and there was a fun photo both to capture our picture (free).
We made our way thru all the vendors and I felt like I had sampled by way thru Tampa. It was really good! We sat down just in time for a celebrity chef demonstration and it was really entertaining! Chef Rene Marquis shared his recipe for a “15K salad” and it was delish! We also received a hard copy recipe card to take with us.
Finally, we found the results table but there was no results for us. The girl had the table was unclear about when the results would be posted and the winners announced. As I mentioned before, the temperature in Tampa Bay just kept climbing and it was HOT! Belinda and I decided to pack it up and head home.
Last night the results were posted! My official finish 1:38:35! I will take it! I averaged a 10:35 mile AVG HR 173 7/19 in my age group (50-59)
In summary if you like a race that has: a lot of course action, crowd support, running interaction and course pictures than this race is NOT for you. If you like a race with a huge after party with a lot of good eats, demos, free pictures and celebrities then this is the Fit Foodie event for you!