Holiday Half Recap Re-do

I kid. One more post about this race.

Here are a few things to note about the Florida Holiday Halfathon apart from my self-involved recap hinging on Gu consumption.

  • The course is point to point. I enjoyed this because, for me, it added to the bad ass-ness of running 13.1 miles. Finishing in a completely different city than where you started directed those miles toward a destination rather than running for two hours and finding yourself in the exact same location.
  • It is small and no frills, and I was concerned about the “please bribe your friends and family to volunteer because we don’t have enough people” email I received two days before the race.
  • I don’t know if it’s due to the aforementioned lack of volunteers, but I was very glad I brought my own water because I am a camel and need water every 15 steps and also because the water stops seemed very spread out. Like every two miles I think, which felt like a long time to wait after mile 7.
  • The race is flat except for one forgettable bridge at mile 3.5ish and two short but steep overpasses while on the Pinellas Trail.
  • Even though the course is near the ocean, you can only see it if you have x-ray vision that works through concrete. Half of the course is residential and the other half is on the Pinellas Trail. I liked running on the trail because it was prettier than strip malls on a main road, but it became a little monotonous after a few miles. There was a surprising number of people along the course cheering. Not thousands, but more than I’d expect for such a small affair.
  • Packet pick-up was available a few days the week before the race in Tampa, which, in theory, is extremely convenient for those of us running who live across the bay. In reality, I missed all of those opportunities and still had to cart my family 45 minutes over to Madeira Beach Saturday.
  • You’d think cops would let you off with  a warning the morning of the race if they saw your bib and panic face, but you would be wrong.
  • I am always deathly afraid of bathroom emergencies during races, even though I’ve never even had to pee during one. Still, in case that’s your burden, I think I saw three port-a-potties on the course but lots of greenery along the trail if you were desperate.
  • The medals are super cute.

I think that’s all (and way more) than you could possibly care about. I would absolutely run this race again and recommend it to anyone considering a holiday half, especially first timers. It was walker friendly and didn’t feel overly competitive. I swear when the gun went off, the entire race field was running at the same pace for the first mile, which was my pace, so you know it wasn’t that hard core.

Happy running to all those whose hip flexors don’t hate them! I’m jealous and decided I hate yoga.




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