Latest reviews by This Old Runner ~~

(2017)
"Great Getaway in Downtown St. Pete"
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I liked everything about the inaugural Getaway 10K & 5K in St. Pete.

It offered true competition to runners, but was also a laid-back event for walkers and gawkers. In fact, organizers invited participants to run, walk or skip the course. There was a 10K, 5K and 1 mile walk, plus a fun run for kids.

The race began and ended at Albert Whitted Park. This is an excellent venue for races. The course took runners along the waterfront and downtown St. Pete. There was good course support and plenty of local police keeping runners safe at intersections. Directional signs were easy to find. All the races were out and backs.

The park was full of activity before, during, and after the race. There were vendors, music, the NOMAD ART BUS, and wonderful music by local band RUSTY TRUMPET.

Runners received a medal, salty snack, and water at the finish line. Boxed lunches and beverages were available across the park. This was a great set up because it prevented human traffic jams. There were some tables with sun umbrellas, and shaded areas under the trees, but most of the park was sunny. It was a gorgeous November day — cool at the start of the race, but definitely hot at the end.

Parking was available next to the venue at Mahaffey Theater parking garage for $10. You can find less expensive options on the streets or in a city parking garage.

Packet pick up was at a local running store. It also was available race morning at the park. 10K runners received a quarter zip pullover in tech material. I love, love, love this pullover and will definitely wear it. 5K runners received a short sleeve tech tshirt. Both shirts are a fun teal-blue color.

This was a small race since it was the first year, but I'll bet it becomes popular.

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(2017)
"10 Mile and 5K Race in Fort DeSoto Park"
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2nd Annual Ronnie's Run took place inside Fort DeSoto County Park, just south of St. Petersburg, Florida. There was a 10 Miler, a 5k and a 1 Mile Fun Run. Virtual options were available for all distances. Runners could sign up for 10 mile + 1 mile, or 5K + 1 mile race combos. The race course is on paved paths and roads. Very flat. Very scenic.

This race was established by Jeanne Keeney to honor her son, Ronnie, who died in 2014. In Jeanne's own words: "...we dedicate this race to Ronnie. Our mission is to bring awareness to alcohol and drug abuse, and to provide resources for addicts and their families..."

The opening ceremonies were quite moving. I am so impressed that the race, with all it's sponsors and goodwill, came from one mother's love for her son. Before the race I heard several conversations among the runners about their own experiences with loved ones who struggle with addiction.

All runners received a short sleeve tech race shirt and bib. The race shirt is very light weight and a nice length. Race packets included Munk Pack fuel, SweatX detergent, a ClifBar, BioFreeze, Light Load Towel, and discount coupons to Burger Monger, SportsClips and AnyTime Fitness. Free digital photos were posted on Facebook a week or so after the race.

There were lots of pacers for the race. I really enjoyed my pace group. It was good running weather — 63 degrees at the start, 77 at the finish. There was water and sports drink at aid stations on the course. The course was a bit short of 10 miles, hopefully that will be fixed next time.

In 2017, the race will be in mid-October, rather than mid-November, so it will be warmer weather. The earlier date makes this race a great fit for half marathon season training.

The post race food was a 3-course breakfast served under a park shelter. There was plenty of cold water, chocolate milk, bananas, etc. Runners could peruse the sponsor tents, take a chance on winning a beach cruiser bike, listen to a DJ from Spirit FM 90.5 radio station, and watch the winners receive their prizes.

10 mile $50. 5K $25, 1 mile $15. Prices are discounted if you register early.

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(2017)
"Skyway Marina District May Day Races"
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Wow, we were lucky with the weather! It was about 63 degrees at the start, with low humidity and gentle breezes. There was a nice mix of sun and shade on the race route.

The 3rd Annual May Day 10K started at 7:15. The race began and ended on the Ceridian campus in the Skyway Marina Neighborhood of St. Petersburg.

The 10K runners did a loop around the buildings, then ran north on the Skyway Trail through Clam Bayou​ Nature Park. We passed an Indian Burial Mound, and inlet water where Manatees swim. I could see Saturday morning golfers at Twin Brooks Golf Course before we turned around. Lovely surroundings in Clam Bayou. There was a public restroom in the park, as well as a water aid station that we passed twice.

10K runners headed south on the Skyway Trail (37th Street) to 54th Avenue South before returning to the Ceridian campus. Plenty of Police officers were stationed at all the intersections to direct traffic. There was another water station on 37th Street which 10K runners passed twice. So, essentially four water stops for the 10K.

There was plenty of water on the course, at the finish line, and the post race area. The food has improved each year; but there's still room for improvement. (I don't think I'm the only one who doesn't want to eat a hard granola bar after a race.) There was a bounce house for the kids, and music playing. Plenty of places to sit and relax after the run. The courtyard is a nice space that offers shade, too.

The course location is my favorite part of this race. If not for this race, I doubt I would have ever run through Clam Bayou Nature Park, or along the Skyway Trail in this neighborhood. It's a beautiful area, and that would have been my loss. Over the past 3 years I've seen several Manatees, Ospreys, Great Blue Herons, ducks, Ibis and birds.

This race is capped at 550 entries because it is run on the trail. That's okay with me. I think it's good to run a mix of small and big races. Each race has it's own vibe — this one is relaxed and fun.

Cost: Depends on when you register.
• 5K: $30-$50
• 10K: $40-$60
• Kids Dash: $10 for 5K or 10K; free with an adult entry

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(2017)
"Run a 5K on the Longest Runway at Tampa International Airport"
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If you're looking for a flat, fast course for your 5K PR, this is the place. It was wide open space with lots of elbow room on a straight forward out and back course. There was a slight incline at the very end.

It was interesting to see the airport from this point of view. We watched planes taxi away from the gates. I wondered what the passengers thought when they looked out their windows and saw 2,000 people racing on the runway. Note: there was definitely jet fuel in the air near the gates; but it dissipated quickly.

Packet pickup was a few days before the race, as well as race morning. It was easy and efficient. I snagged a headband and a coupon for free miles for a local airline at pick up.

The staging area was a party with music, food and fun BEFORE and AFTER the race. Nice shirts, fun medals, great food and wonderful on course management. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies were cool silver airplanes.

We lucked out with the weather. It was just right. I can imagine running on the tarmac would be brutal in the heat — there isn't any shade.

This race has a limited number of entries, so register early and see what running on the runway is all about. Early registration was $35. Regular registration was $40. Virtual option for $30. I recommend doing the live race. It was a lot of fun.

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(2017)
"Run 4 Miles on a Championship Golf Course"
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The Par4Miler at Innisbrook Resort on Sunday, March 5th was a charming event! It was the official kickoff for the Valspar Championship Golf Tournament taking place March 6-12, 2017.

This was the 2nd year for the race which raises money for charity. The number of participants was about 300 people. That's double the amount of the first year, and I'm sure the race will continue to grow. The organizers said they will use corrals/waves next year to keep it safe and uncrowded on the course.

The race had some real rolling hills — which is hard to find in Florida — except for bridges. The 4 mile course was on the smooth, paved cart paths of the famous Copperhead Golf Course. It was beautiful scenery. Participants had a behind the scenes peek of the golf course and tournament set up.

There was a water station at each mile. One station had Honey Stinger gels. Since the course was ready for the golf tournament, there were port-o-lets at several locations on the course.

Everyone received a ticket to the golf tournament, shirt, bib, medal, post race party and a voucher for a free can of Valspar interior paint. The race shirt and medal were top quality.

The post-race party was in a hospitality tent on the 18th hole. There was pizza, brownies, granola bars, protein shakes, beer, wine and soda with a view of the 18th green.

I will definitely run this race again.

Early registration was $30; later it was $35-$40. Remember, that included shirt, voucher for paint, and a ticket to the golf tournament!

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