What You Need to Know
Cost: Depends on when you register.
Early Registration: $35
After April 10: $40
Virtual Option: $30
Packet Pickup: Packet pickup was on Wednesday and Thursday at the Cell Phone Waiting Lot at Tampa Airport. On site pickup was available on race morning.
SWAG: Quality short sleeve tech shirt in green. Ladies was a v neck; mens and kids were round neckline. I received a #TPA5k headband at Wednesday's pickup, plus a voucher for miles on Spirit Airlines.
Race Day Parking: Parking was FREE in the grass lot adjacent to the airfield. It was a bit of a walk from parking to the start area.
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.
Pacers: Nope. Good mix of runners and walkers of all ages.
Aid Stations: Yes. Water at mile 1.5. Lots and lots of water. There were several long banquet tables full of cups, and lots of cheering volunteers handing water to runners.
Timing Chip: Yes. The chip was on the race bib. There was a digital display at the finish. Results were available immediately.
Port-o-lets: I spotted one accessible port-o-let in the parking lot, 18 in the pre-race area and 3 more strategically placed on the way to the starting line.
Yes. FREE general and finish line photos were taken by TIA staff. Lots of opportunities for selfies on and off the course. There was an email notification that photos were posted on the TIA facebook page.
I wish I was faster because I would love to earn one of the sleek silver airplane trophies given to the top three male and female runners. Smaller trophies were awarded three deep in each age group.
Pre and Post Race Food
There was a food tent that served food before the race: bananas, water, Body Armor Sports Drink, chips, crackers, cookies, and Onli sparkling water. That was a nice surprise. Pastries were added to the lineup after the race.
After our spin up and down the runway, racers were treated to delicious local fare by restaurants with locations inside the airport. Choices included cuban sandwiches, salads, shrimp and grits, coffee and coffee cake, and more. Supporting restaurants were local favorites: Columbia Cafe, Ulele, Goody Goody Burger and Cafe Con Leche.
Tampa Police did a cool fly over in their helicopter. They landed before the race and let runners take selfies.
There was a raffle $5 each or $20 for 5 tickets; prizes were two round trip airline tickets, or an travel inspired gift basket. Anyone could enter the raffles. Winners were drawn at the end of the race.
Bonus: We scored some nice luggage tags from the Delta Airlines tent.
It was cloudy weather, which was perfect for a run on unshaded tarmac. The 8 am start time was okay because the weather cooperated.
-> Partly cloudy
-> 72% humidity; nice breezes
-> Temps were low 70s