It Started with a Full Moon
My plan was to run slow and steady, somewhere near a 12 minute pace. I felt acclimated to the heat, but planned to run/walk if the humidity was oppressive. This race falls a couple of weeks before my true season, so I considered it a training run — a way to get back into race mode.
I fueled and foam rolled and headed out the door by 6 am. Parking was easy and free at the Mahaffey Theater parking garage. I chose a spot on the first floor, and walked the short distance to Albert Whitted Park where the race began. The early birds and volunteers were there. There was on site packet pickup on race morning at 6 am.
This is my personal recap. Detailed race review —> 2016 One Step Closer 10k
The moon set was followed by sunrise at 7:17 a.m. The race announcer called for runners to line up. Lines at the permanent restroom and the 8 port-o-lets were very long at this point. There was lots of chatter and picture taking. Fundraising groups had their pictures taken. (The race encouraged group entries for fundraising, and gave an award to the largest group.) There were lots of smiling faces and happy people at the starting line. I met a sweet dog, named Keith, who walked the 5k with his owner. I saw several dogs, and a minature pony, participate in the races.
At the start line, I positioned myself near people who looked like they ran my pace. I was concerned when a runner pushing a stroller moved to the front of the group, but who knows. Just because I can’t push a stroller and run fast doesn’t mean she couldn’t. Besides, the city streets are wide, so I didn’t anticipate any bottlenecks.
The horn blew, and we were off and running in downtown St. Pete. It’s a lovely race route along the waterfront. We ran north on Bayshore, past Demens Landing and the St. Pete Yacht Club, past the Museum of Fine Arts to the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel. We turned right and ran the brick avenue to Vinoy Park, moved past a noisy and active Northshore Pool onto Northshore Drive NE, and ran all the way to Coffee Pot Blvd. The city parks on the waterfront with Tampa Bay behind them provided a beautiful view. Next, we crossed the Snell Isle Bridge and followed the boulevard to Vinoy Golf Course, then turned around and followed the same route back, with the addition of a small loop on the Pier approach.
I ran the first two miles, then decided on intervals: 3 minutes running with 1-1/2 minutes walking. Early in the race, everyone was soaked with perspiration, some people were literally dripping sweat. Humidity is no joke. Kudos to race management for the ice cold water on the course.
There were plenty of friendly police and volunteers on the course. The roads were closed to traffic, which gave runners lots of room to run. The race was well organized and executed. I didn't see any port-o-lets on the race course, but did note passing public restrooms at the Pier, North Shore Pool and the waterfront parks.
Happily, at the end of the race I had enough energy to kick in my finish for a 1:16 time, which put my pace at 12:19. Not bad for a training run in high humidity. I was handed a medal, walked 5 steps and grabbed a cold bottle of water from a tabletop cooler. I wanted to dunk my head and arms into the cooler of iced water, but instead I decided to sit near the playground and talked with other runners.
Lots of Ice Cold Water
The best thing this race did for runners was cold water. Excellent job! On the course and afterwards, the water was cold, and plentiful. This is so very important and appreciated on a hot day in September during and after a 6 mile run! Thank you.
Post race festivities offered shade under a big tent with more cold water, lots of soft drinks, chocolate milk drink, and sports drink. I saw bagels, granola bars, apples and bananas set up under the tent. Sponsor tables gave runners freebies like sunscreen, water bottles, hair ties, bracelets and samples. A man playing the guitar entertained runners seated on folding chairs. There was a separate Survivors Tent and a Kids Zone with a bounce house and that cute pony.
There were lots of survivors in the 1 Miler Fun Run/Walk. It was fun to watch the young kids running this race. Some 5k and 10k runners participated. I cheered for everyone, then went home. I really enjoyed this race and gathering. It was a meaningful event that celebrated survivors and raised funds for Ovarian Cancer research. My hat is off to the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
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Feb. 24-25, 2024