It was easy to rise early for the first race of the season. I left the house about 5:40 am and traveled to Fort DeSoto. Took I-275 to 54th Ave. South to the Pinellas Bayway South (75c toll) to Fort DeSoto. The Race Directors prepay the park's entry fee ($5) for all runners, so cars don't have to stop at the entry gate.
This is my race recap. Detailed race review —> Inaugural Ft DeSoto 15K
Fort DeSoto Park is south of St. Petersburg, in Tierra Verde, Florida.
I was parked and out of my car by 6:10 am. Lots of time to use the port-o-lets, warm up and survey the crowd. There were plenty of port-o-lets at the end of the parking lot, lit by huge spotlights on generators. Runners gathered near the starting line, or warmed up by jogging around the parking lot. It was dark, so you had to watch for cars and people. Volunteers did a great job directing traffic.
The announcer at the starting line played music and updated everyone on what to expect. While we awaited the start of the race there was a light sprinkling of rain, which brought the temperature down a couple of degrees to 73º. Next, there was a hearty rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a countdown and the race began.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
There was a beautiful cloudy sunrise and a rainbow as we started the race. The only downside was that a rainbow requires rain. Runners in both the 15K and the 5K were drenched in a downpour of big fat juicy drops. And then, of course, wet socks.
There was equal opportunity drenching in both the 5K and 15K races.
I added this race to my schedule because I enjoy the venue and like the race directors. I also wanted to see just how fit I was after 3 months of doing easy workouts in the summer heat.
At the start of the race, I found a couple running at an appealing pace. I ran with them for 6.75 miles. The pace felt good, steady but not too hard.
After a couple of miles, my Gatorade chews slipped out of my belt. Thankfully, an energetic girl running behind me noticed. She sprinted up to me, gave me the chews, then ran back to her group. I was happy to eat those energy chews at mile 5 and 7!
After mile 7, I left my pacers and ran intervals. I still felt strong, but not constant running strong.
The beautiful sunrise was a nice distraction from the fact that we were soaking wet.
I felt a blister wanting to appear during mile 9. I tried to adjust my foot to avoid it. If it had been a half marathon, I definitely would have had a full blown blister.
My Nike+ app tracked 9.4 miles. I was pleased with my 11:50 pace; 1:52:50 time. Not too bad for This Old Runner's first race of the season.
After receiving my medal, I grabbed a beer, banana and water, which I consumed while watching the 5K awards presentation. Then, I made my way home, a sweaty, wet happy mess.
I foam rolled really well the night before the race, and again the night after the race. I had a few tight spots that were easily worked out. I think the foam rolling and an ice bath contributed to an easy recovery. I felt good 24 and 48 hours after the race.
The race course is on flat paved trails and roads throughout the park.
I’m glad the race photos were free. My race photos never look good. How could they? I'm soaked with sweat (or rain and sweat in this case) and have just run for a really long time. Even so, I love to see the photos. I appreciate the photos by Game Face Media included with this event. Free race photos seems to be new trend in our area, and I really like that.
Official race results were posted online at CoolRunning by 3 pm Sunday afternoon. There were 414 finishers in the 15K results, and 283 in the 5K results.
The beach, shelters, and trails go on and on at Fort DeSoto.
Gifts during this race:
Chats on the course, water, oranges, shade, rain, solitude, music, breezes, rainbow, sunrise, birds, trail, running, energy chews, shaded post race celebration, good food, beer, hydration, and cheerful volunteers at all the aid stations, fun finisher medal!
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Dec. 9, 2022