LAST CHANCE RACE OF THE YEAR
Josh and I were in Florida for the Outback Bowl, and of course I was on the look out for a race in the area during the time we would be there. I stumbled upon the Hooters Last Chance Race of the Year in Clearwater Beach.
If you haven’t figured it out the race was on Dec 31st….. It was to start after the one mile swim at 10 am. The race was on the beach, it was sunny and around 65-70 degrees.
I don’t remember the last time I ran a 5k….in fact my last race was a the Artic Frog 50k at the beginning of December. Who am I? LOL
Gear: Iowa tank top, yellow Sparkle Athletic skirt, 2xu vectr socks, NB 880 shoes, Garmin Fenix, Iowa Nike hat, Adidas boy shorts
Josh and I ran to the race with plenty of time to spare, so we ran an additional mile along the beach. We watched the swimmers as we ran… that looked tough, and then they had to come out of the water and run through the sand to finish. We also had time to cheer them in, very inspiring.
The announcer was very energetic, I think she was also the RD. She knew many of the people at the event and called them out over the loud speaker that was also playing music. The race was put on by a company that does many local events.
When it was time, runners all lined up near the water, on the beach, no corrals. However, I felt everyone was smart enough to line up according to pace. The National Anthem was sung live.
The race was on. I have run on the beach a few times before, you know on that hard packed sand, just at the water’s edge. Once I even tried this barefoot, but got a nasty toe blister. I was glad I had my shoes, but don’t tell anyone, I didn’t read the race description and didn’t realize it was going to be on the beach…SHH, it’s our secret.
I was doing fine, until I came to the part on the course where the lead pack was headed back, as this was an out and back course. We had to share the piece of sand…or I guess I could run in the dry stuff, but why? It was difficult to share, as the going out portion was on a slant. I did see Josh, and I gave him a high 5!
We passed mile markers, and a water stop with plastic cups at the turnaround. The turnaround guy was holding the trash bag for the cups, something even more guilty feeling about leaving your cup trash on the beach.
I didn’t see many other Hawkeye fans, which was strange as this was the beach the Outback Bowl held events on. Last year I ran a half with at least 15 other Hawk fans. Oh well, I did see 2 guys pushing strollers….at least they never passed me, I call that a small victory. I also splashed in the water a few times…ok it was by accident.
I could see the finish ahead, so I pushed the pace on the packed sand, as I knew I would be running through the dry, loose sand the swimmers had to finish on. That portion was tough, but glad I had practiced by running in the snow at home.
I came across the finish line and a volunteer handed me a medal, a bottle of water, and a piece of paper for a top finisher award. (The top 25 in each gender received one.)
The race was sponsored by Hooters, which was just across the street from the race start. The post race party started on the 3rd floor at 10:30. Each participant got boneless wings and a free beer. We found out, at the party that the beer options were crap…but we did our best to sip on some Mich Ultra. Also, this was my first time at a Hooters, and I am not sure if they made these boneless wings ahead of time, but they were dried out and gross! (This does not reflect on the race at all) It was nice of Hooters to open up for the event.
We got in line to get our top finisher award, which was just a plaque that said we were a top finisher, it was cool. When we were given the award, the RD asked questions and made you feel special. Great small town feel to the event.
We milled about and talked to an old lady who wanted to see my hair cut, as she needed to shave off her hair, because she dyed it red and it didn’t take….see runners are awesome…they will talk about anything…she also whined about how cold it was…oh Florida, don’t ever change. Seriously, there were people in stocking hats and gloves, long pants and long sleeves.
This was a fun event, it was only $25 before the fees, and I registered the week of the race. Doesn’t get better than that… I didn’t get a shirt, but I don’t need any more shirts! The RD made everyone feel special too. I would run this again…who knows with the Hawkeye record with the Outback Bowl, the odds are in my favor.