Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Half Marathon Live Oak, Florida Sunday, March 9, 2014 The Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Half Marathon that I race walked on Sunday, March 9, 2014 in Live Oak, Florida was a wonderful friendly little event that gave you plenty for a relatively little entry fee of less than $50. The weather was perfect as the temperature started at 45 degrees with clear skies and no wind just before the sun rose and the temperature reach around 65 degrees by the time I finished. There were actually five events starting together – full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and kid’s fun run, with a total amount of entries being less than 200. All the courses were certified and the half marathon consisted of two loops utilizing approximately 12.5 miles of rural roads that had almost no traffic and the rest over a grassy area near the arena where the start and finish were located. Every turn was very well marked and was very easy to follow despite there being so many different courses over the same roadways. The turn-around places for each race had a volunteer making sure that the proper participants turned around in the proper places. The course was mostly up and down over gentle inclines and declines that in my mind would not qualify as hills. There was almost no flat areas. There were 4 water/Gatorade stations that served double duty on the two lap course that were spaced from 1 to 2 miles apart and were each manned by two enthusiastic efficient volunteers. Even though the event was on the sheriff’s ranch there was no need for police anywhere during the event. There was a free delicious spaghetti meal available at the packet pick-up on Saturday and the four competitive events had five year age groups awards that went three deep and as a result I was able to win first place in my running age group despite the fact that I walked the entire race. There was plenty of liquids and food available at the finishing area. I certainly had fun and would recommend this well-organized event to anyone who enjoys participating in a small friendly enjoyable race.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Tampa Gasparilla Half Marathon Tampa, Florida Sunday, February 23, 2014 On Sunday, February 23, 2014 I race walked the Gasparilla Half Marathon in Tampa, Florida. The temperature was near 70 degrees with no breeze and overhead fog during the entire event. The approximately 10000 participants followed a nearly flat route for five miles through Davis Island and the rest of the distance along the bay front on roads that were completely closed to traffic. Many police officers ensured the safety of the participants. Water/Gatorade stations were located approximately every 1 to 1.5 miles and were manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. Spectators were located along the bay front in large numbers and enthusiastically cheered for the participants. My friend, Bart Yasso, from Runner’s World magazine was at the exposition on Friday and the finish line on Sunday. The event was very well organized and fun to do. In addition to the half marathon there was an 8K on Sunday and a 15K and 5K on Saturday. The races were scheduled in such a way that people could do any or all of the races. Actually there were many participants that completed all four races.