That's when my idea for the Sarasota Half Marathon relay came about. I saw some friends who had done it last year as a relay and it looked like fun, the medal was huge, and First Watch was sponsoring the race. (Oh yeah!) A lot of my running buddies were going to be running the Armadillo 5k/10k the day before, so I tried to find a partner who wasn't.
Luckily for me, my friend Tracey couldn't do the Armadillo race either and agreed to be my partner. (Woo!) We decided on our team name WTF! (Witness the Fitness) and Ben even designed a logo for us. Since Ben was going to be down there anyway, he partnered up with Jen for team Mad Hops. Melanie and Rhonda "sealed the deal" and also joined us.
Ben and I headed down to Sarasota on Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets. The "expo" was at the Holiday Inn right near the airport. Here's a photo:
Now, I say "expo" because there wasn't really much to look at. I had never been to an expo located in a hotel lobby before, and I believe that the Gasparilla expo has spoiled me... Afterwards, we headed over to a "tent sale" at Fit 2 Run Sarasota (which was not so great) and grabbed lunch at Lee Roy Selmon's (the Quesadillas are the BEST!). Unfortunately, we had to watch the Gators loose to Kentucky as well...
After lunch, we checked in to our hotel and immediately headed to the pool. It was a gorgeous day outside, and the pool was comfortable. There were several "older" men and women hanging by the pool that were also quite entertaining. For dinner we met up with Melanie and Kevin at The Bearded Clam (yes, that is correct - the Bearded Clam). I think they spelled groovy wrong on their menu...
We sat out on the water and there was reggae music, a nice breeze, and the food was really good. As we were sitting there, we spotted "Elvis". This guy commands $10 a head, so we had to take a picture with him. Duh!
After dinner we headed over to The Fish Hole for some mini golf. The poor guy at the front counter kept getting golf balls flung at his door. He said that he had some sort of head damage and didn't remember that he only charged us for one round of golf instead of two. Whoopsie!
The day before the race was also Daylight Saving's time to spring forward. Boo. Also another reason that we got a hotel. It was physically possible to get up any earlier that we already did...
I got up and was feeling pretty good. I can safely say that there wasn't really a "race plan", but I did want to at least try to run as best as I could (or felt able to). I headed to the corral a little early and Rhonda and Jen met up with me there. I told them that if I felt okay, I was going to go for it. I did hear a rumor about a bridge, but I didn't realize that it was going to be the Ringling Bridge...
Yeah, that's it in the background. Went over her TWICE!
The relay component of this race was really cool. There was a spot that was .10 of a mile from the finish where your partner waited. There was a band you wore around your ankle that you switched off when you got to your partner. The paperwork we got originally said that the first leg was 5.5 miles and the second leg was 7.6. So when I got to the 5 mile mark I was ready to go. Until I realized where I was in Sarasota and that I still had a lot to go.
When I finally saw the relay area I booked it and just started yelling "Tracey!" so she would know I was coming! I saw Larisa first (super cute skirt!), then Ben (he's so tall!), and finally Tracey. She was out of there ASAP and I walked over to the Gatorade table for a little buffet. I had a little bit of time left before she came back and we met up again. One of the nice things is that you actually got to finish the last .10 of a mile with your partner.
Here were are all finished! WTF!
We met up with everyone after the race for more photo opportunities
And, of course, I had to get one with my honey!
Overall, we finished with a combined time of 1:49:02 (this is the only way that I'm breaking 1:50, y'all!) and 6th (SIXTH!!!) out of 90 (NINETY!!!) all female teams. It was a great day in Sarasota, I would have changed a thing. Definitely doing this one again next year.