Ryan Jordan, one of the owners of the new #StPeteRunFest event spoke to One Million Cups #1MCSTP last week, and everything he had to say about the inaugural St. Pete Run Fest made me happy.
Year-Round Community Engagement
Jordan told the audience that his company (EndorFun Sports) wants this event to be engaged in the community 365 days a year.
The two-day festival will partner with the city, 3 Daughters Brewing, Saturday Morning Market, BigSea Design, St Pete Threads, local charities, schools and businesses to engage as much of the community as possible.
Visit StPeteRunFest.org to see how you can participate as an individual runner, team member, or volunteer. The event is November 18-19, 2017 in St. Petersburg, FL.
A Two-Day Run Festival with Something for Everyone
Run or Walk to Support Local Charities
Money raised by the race will stay in the community. 5K runners will support the Miles for Meals Program — a dollar for each mile run/walked (up to $3) will be donated to the St Petersburg Free Clinic Food Bank. Additional donations can be made online when registering for races.
Jordan said the Half Marathon will give local charities the opportunity to be involved in the race and receive a donation with a "13 miles, 13 charities" plan.
Healthy Kids Challenge
I love the idea of the PeliKids Marathon Challenge. It's a one mile race for school age kids (K-8). The young runners log 25.2 miles at home or at school before the race, then complete their marathon on Saturday of race weekend by running the PeliKids One Miler for a total of 26.2 miles.
Running Tour of Downtown St. Petersburg
The half marathon is a great way to see everything new and exciting that is happening in downtown.
The race course embraces the waterfront, downtown, the arts districts, Tropicana Field and the Pinellas Trail. If you haven't been to St. Pete lately, you haven't been to St. Pete.
Creating an Ocean Friendly Event
Okay, I think this may be my favorite part. Jordan told the audience the race organizers were inspired by how the National Parks Race Series uses a cup free system. HydraPour uses a reusable water pouch and speedy filling stations to distribute water to runners — eliminating all the trash and tripping hazards of disposable cups. Bonus: you can sip your water as needed, rather than gulping it in time to toss your cup into the trash can.
Jordan said the inaugural year will be a combo of HydraPour and recyclable cups. He said he is working with the Suncoast Chapter Surf Rider Foundation to make this an Ocean Friendly event.
Additionally, half marathon runners will receive a reusable water bottle at the finish line. Love it!
Did You Want Some Bling with That Race?
Will St. Pete Get its Own Version of a Gasparilla Classic?
Jordan said the vision is to create St. Pete's version of the Gasparilla Classic — a world class event that brings people from around the country to run, stay and play in our city. For reference: the Gasparilla Distance Classic attracts 40,000 runners.
It may take a few years, but the energy and vision of the #StPeteRunFest owners, partners and the city of St. Petersburg make me believe it will happen. I'll be running, and rooting for everyone's success.
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