Friday, March 6, 2015

Race Review: Clearwater Halfathon

A quick long weekend getaway to Florida is ALWAYS a good idea coming from a cold D.C. winter.  When we realized there were fairly decent flights to Tampa over MLK weekend, we decided to jump on them.  Being the racing fanatics that we are, we also had to look to see if there were any races being held in the area.  Lo and behold, I found the Clearwater Halfathon and I am so happy I stumbled upon this gem of a race!

We have vacationed in Clearwater a few times and we really like it.  When we looked at the course map online, we knew we had to register...we knew the views would be amazing but we also knew it wouldn't be an easy course.


Price:  We paid $85 each which really isn't that bad for a half marathon. 

Expo/Packet Pick Up:  This was held the day before in the same park that would lend itself to the start and finish.  It was small, but it got done what it needed!  I wasn't a fan of the shirts though.  They did give a choice at packet pick up of a long sleeve cotton tee or a short sleeve tech tee.  I took the long sleeve because the tech was gender neutral and very boxy.  I don't often wear shirts from any race though.

Course:  The course stayed pretty close to the beach for the entire 13.1 miles.  We crossed a pretty steep bridge right away and headed to the beach. 

As we approached this hotel, I thought these were spectators!  Whoops!
Then another bridge brings us over more water and through Sand Key State Park and then into a more residential area for the middle portion of the race.  This was the section with the least amount of views and I just tried to settle in and focus on pace and breath.  After the turn around, I ran with another runner about my pace during this section to keep myself in the game.  Then we hit the bridge again I took off on the uphill and decided to pick up my pace.  We were staying at a hotel right along the course so on the return portion I was able to see my mom and my daughter wave to me on the way past the hotel.  I loved that!  Everything was going well and I was happy about my pace....then I hit the final bridge.  Heading up legs just felt so heavy and I felt so tired.  Final mile though!  Once I reached the top, I tried to open the stride and maximize the downhill but we come off the bridge in a really neat spiral shaped pedestrian bridge, which was really neat but not the best for speed!  Once I reached flat ground I raced the final .2 to the finish line with a smile.  I really enjoyed this race!

Finish Party:  Unlimited Light Beer, Pasta and snacks.  The guy who was the MC for the awards after party was great.  He definitely was some type of radio personality and very lively and funny!  There was nothing like sitting in the warm sun, enjoying a beer after running a hard 13 miles.  I got to meet up with a friend from DC who was in town running too!  So great to see my run bud Melissa who blogs at Eat on the Run.  Her recap of the race here
My husband ended up getting 3rd in his AG.  So proud of him! 

I would definitely do this race again and the hubby and I have already talked about trying to make this an annual MLK weekend escape! 


  1. Awesome! Congrats! I love the Clearwater area. I'll be competing in the Escape Fort Desoto Sprint Tri when I'm down there on Spring break. I'm just worried about the heat given how cold it has been in the mid-Atlantic. Did you have any issues with the heat on your run?

    1. That will be so fun! I am jealous you are headed down there soon. I do think the heat/humidity affected me a bit...faster paces were harder to maintain. But luckily that morning was fairly cool. But you are right....your body gets so accustomed to the cold weather and then you shock the system with a warmer climate! :-)

  2. I ran the Florida Halfathon, which is organized by the same RD, last spring. They do a nice job with their races! Congrats!