The Veterans Alternative Copperhead 5K at the Valspar Championship kicks off the 2019 tournament festivities with a race around the famed Copperhead Course.
This year the race landed on St. Patrick's Day. That meant plenty of runners and walkers dressed in green to match the course.
2019 was the 4th year for the race. It's a family-friendly event. I always see small kids, strollers, and lots of walkers. But, there are competitive racers, too.
Since it's not the usual race crowd, expect to navigate the walkers who don't know they should line up behind runners. Once you clear the initial bottleneck, the course is fun and fast.
It's a blast to run down the hills, but of course you have to run up them first. It's a challenging 5K for those of us who don't run on hills much.
There were two options for packet pickup:
Saturday, March 16 (9:15 –Noon)
BB&T Bank, 350 East Bay Drive, Largo
Sunday, March 17 (2:00-3:45 pm)
On site next to the Green Lot
We picked up around 3:00 pm on race day. It was easy and quick.
Pickup was in the volunteer tent across from the parking lot. We received a shirt, bag, and bib. Participants could choose a red or navy shirt.
After putting our swag bags in the car and attaching our bibs we had time for a walkabout. We checked out the Publix Chillounge before the race. We're def going back during the tourny. (Pics below.)
The shirts were available in patriotic red and blue. The named sponsor for the race was Veterans Alternative, a non-profit that serves veterans.
The shirt is 100% polyester performance material. It's lightweight and wicks away sweat. Ladies and mens cuts. Children's sizes.
Participants could choose a red or navy shirt.
The race bag was a clear plastic Valspar Tournament merchandise bag. Which reminds me, the tournament gift shop was open during the race.
Inside the bag was a voucher for a free can of Valspar Signature Interior paint + primer. I don't know about you, but around here we can always use another can of paint.
Additional swag was a $5 off coupon for any Glory Days Grill location.
There was a nice letter and a promo piece for the Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon at Adventure Island next month.
Parking was free on site in the Green Lot. It's a grass lot next to the course at the southwest corner of Belcher Road and Klosterman Road.
FYI: the Green and Yellow parking lots for the tournament are here.
There was plenty of room for all the cars. It was a short walk up the service road to packet pickup and the starting line.
Free finish line photos were available two days after the race.
Runners receive a link to the photo site where you can download low res photos immediately.
You can have high resolution photos emailed to you.
There was a roving photographer at the race and after party. You should find more photos posted on social media and the race site a few days after the race.
Before the race my husband and I decided we would each run our own race. We agreed to meet at the finish.
I've been focused on hill workouts in anticipation of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May. The Copperhead 5K is the first race with any kind of hills I've run since February 2. I wanted to run the hills and compare my results to last year.
While I still have work to do before Pittsburgh, I'm happy with my finish. I ran more than two minutes faster than last year.
But more important than the time was how good I felt. My legs were tired going in, but I was strong and steady throughout the race. The hills were okay.
I'm happy with my race. I think it was a good check-in for my training cycle.