What You Need to Know
Expo and Packet Pickup: Yes. Sirata ballroom, 2nd floor. About a dozen exhibitors and packet pick up. Friday 11a-7p, and Saturday 6a-5p. You can pick up for a friend if you have a copy of their email confirmation. No race day pick up on Sunday.
Race Course: 5K, 10K and Half all start in front of the Sirata and travel along city streets with views of the Gulf and Intercoastal. The Beach Fun Run takes place behind the resort along the waterfront. The Half Marathon is a USATF certified course.
Pacers: Yes. I saw 1:30, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15 and 2:30 pacers from Fit2Run.
Aid Stations: Yes. Water and Gatorade every 1.5 miles.
Parking: Easy for packet pickup — check in at the gate and park in the hotel lot. But, parking for race day is harder. Don't risk getting towed! It's always tough to find a spot at the beach. Your best bet is to pay to park in a public lot, or find the specific free race designated parking lots. Do NOT park in employee parking, Dolphin Village, or any restaurant customer only parking. You will be towed.
Cost: Depends on when you register.
Beach Run $20-25;
5K or 10K $30-45; Half $60-100;
5K/10K Duo $40-65; Marathon $100-160
Kids Dashes are FREE for children up to 8 years old.
SWAG (Stuff we all get): Long sleeve race shirt and bib with timing chip attached. The goodies included sticky notes, a pill box, band aid holder, personal battery-operated fan mister, coupons, and flyers on upcoming area races.
Happy Surprise: The half course takes you on a tour of St. Pete Beach and more. You'll run along Pass-A-Grille's beach and fishing pier, Vina Del Mar, through charming residential back alleys, and many beach resorts on Gulf Boulevard. It's a novel perspective of this busy beach area.
Post Race Festivities: After the race, everything you need is a few steps from the finish line: ice cold water, soft drinks, portalets, baggage check, massage, and a buffet of fruit, carbs and protein. Heineken beer, coffee and water were available. The post race food and some seating was inside a tent, which was great since it was so windy this year. Additional seating was available outside the tent on the beach and on the Sirata patio.
Photos: Yes. BBActionPhoto.com. All photos were online in three days. You can pay for downloads or prints. Mugs and specialty prints are available.
Awards: Given out 5 deep in each of 15, 5-year age groups for male and female in the 5K, 10K and Half. Duo and Marathon Challenge awards are given to the winners of the age group based on fastest combined time.
Timing Chip: Yes. The chip is on your race bib. Digital displays on the half course showed 5K, 10K and 15K Splits. Note: Only the Marathon Challenge participants are timed during the Beach Run.
Weather Report: Usually it's cool and comfortable. This year there was a storm moving through the area.
-> 20-35 mph winds during the race.
Mostly crosswinds, some serious head winds, and finally the wind at our backs during the last half mile.
-> Rain downpour in the first mile = wet feet.
-> Temps were low 60s throughout
Extras: You can download a personalized finishers race bib with your chip time when you check your official stats online.