What You Need to Know
Packet Pickup: Packet was at local Goodwill stores from 2-7 pm on the Thursday and Friday before the race. I went to the Gandy Goodwill store on Thursday. Parking was easy in the huge store lot. Pickup was at the front of the store, and took about 2 minutes. If you wanted to find something groovy to wear during the race, the store had plenty of choices.
Race Course: 5K was USTAF certified. It began and ended in front of the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom on Shore Blvd. in downtown. The course was a 3.1 mile circle around the town.
The Walk, Woof and Roll 1 Miler gave dressed up dogs a chance to win a best dressed award. It was an out and back along Shore Blvd. and 58th St. Walkers, dogs and strollers were welcome.
The .25 mile Flower Child Fun Run was really cute to watch. There were moms and kids dressed as hippies.
Aid Stations: Yes. There were two water stops on the 5k course at mile 1 and 2.
Parking: Parking was FREE in the Municipal Lot next to the beach. There is also street parking and a small city lot nearby. Parking in Gulfport is difficult on a weekend night, but it was easy this Saturday morning.
Cost: Depends on when you register.
• 5K: $25-30
• 1 Mile: $15-20
• .25 Mile Walk, Woof: $10
• Virtual same prices; medal and shirt
SWAG (Stuff we all get): Neon green short sleeve tech shirt with logo on front and sponsors on the back. Reusable grocery bag was filled with a visor, water bottle, insulated lunch bag, bottle opener key chain, flashlight, calculator, fans, pens, notepad and samples. 25% off discount coupon for Goodwill stores.
Happy Surprise: Choice of Three Daughters Brewery beer (in cans!) at the post race party. That was a nice treat. I really enjoyed the 60s music playing at the starting line before the race.
Post Race Festivities: The after party was at Salty's Gulfport Bar on Shore Blvd. Besides the cold beer in cans, there was plenty of water and food served under a big tent on Salty's outdoor deck. Early finishers could watch the rest of the runners pass on their way to the finish line.
Photos: Yes. Free to see and download on the Goodwill Industries Suncoast website.
Awards: "Super groovy medals for all finishers" were as advertised. There were special awards for the first place finishers in each age group. They gave out Best Dressed Dude and Dudette awards. There was an award for the Best Dressed Dog, and another for Best Dressed Flower Child.
Timing Chip: 5k only. The chip was on the race bib. Race results were posted at www.coolrunning.com.
Weather Report: It was 77º at 8 am, and in the 80s an hour later. There was no way around the heat, but since it was a short distance, running was doable. The party atmosphere and surroundings distracted from the heat.
-> Cloudy for part of the race
-> Shade trees in older neighborhoods
-> Temps were low 80s