[race recaps: best damn race and gasparilla 5k]

So before I start, I just want to announce that I got this sweet-ass cheese making kit, I’m excited, and there’s not a goddamn thing anyone can do about it:

cheese kitWhile I have generally been trying to curb my dairy consumption, there are just some things you don’t say no to, like homemade cheese. And if this hobby takes, I plan on being the frigging Martha Stewart of cheese. I already have a name picked out: Dairy Boss Creamery. Don’t take it, I call dibs.

Now to the point of this post: race recaps! This month, I had two races within two weeks of each other: Best Damn Race Safety Harbor, and the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K. And you get a twofer race recap because I don’t want to write up two separate posts. First up: Best Damn Race.

BDRI found out about this race via a postcard in my Viva la Margarita swag bag. BDR markets itself as a race, “for runners, by runners.” Its aim is to make it accessible to all runners, so entry fees are hella affordable, and get you a shit-load of stuff, such as finishers medals, unlimited food and beer, and massages. As a first-timer, I think it lived up to its claim. The medals were good quality, and you truly got a ton of food and beer: Pollo Tropical was dolling out large plates of beans, rice, and chicken, and tons of beer was up for grabs, and people were double-fisting and going back for thirdsies and NOBODY GAVE A SHIT. It was perfect running weather, too: cool, clear, and sunny, which made the scenic route through the Safety Harbor neighborhoods all the more enjoyable. And this was a special race for me, because it was the first race I’ve run with friends and the first race in which I PR’d by running the whole thing (no walk breaks!). This is a great hometown race, well organized, and gives you a lot of perks for a reasonable price, and definitely one I plan on running again.

The race I was in last weekend was a repeat, the Gasparilla 5K:


This remains my favorite hometown race. The route runs along Bayshore Boulevard so you get stunning views of the bay on one side and gorgeous houses on the other, and you also get some good perks: bananas, fruit cups, Buddy Fruits, sparkling water, and Coke after the race, as well as a free beer, a finishers medal, and tech tee. Despite the fact that it’s on the same weekend as the Disney Princess Half Marathon, a sizeable amount of runners still turned out: I believed the race capped out at 30,000 participants this year across all races. This was also a good race, performance-wise, but I did have to stop and walk for a few minutes around  2.5 miles in because I felt like I was getting light-headed. I need to start wearing a visor or sunglasses or something to block out the sun. #NoShade, y’all. But then I saw the finish line and said, “Fuck it!” and jogged my ass across. And after a few beers, the girls and I went to BurgerFi and stuffed our pie holes on copious amounts of beef, onion rings, and shakes. Not a bad way to end a race.

I should also mention that I retired my beloved Newtons and got these new kicks, courtesy of a sale going on at FITniche during the BDR packet pick-up:


These babies originally retailed for $140, but you know how much I paid for them? $60.

Sixty. All-American. Hard-earned. Dollars.

Thus, learning a little secret: January/February is when stores start clearing out the old shoes to make room for the new generations. If you don’t mind running in last season’s shoes (and who is that picky?) then you can score a great deal if you’re needing to get some new kicks, or if you’re just getting into the sport and don’t want to lay down a lot of coin. Because running shoes are expensive. Trust.

Next up on the docket are the Florida Beach 5K race at Ft. De Soto Park and Iron Girl 5K at Coachman Park in Clearwater. My goal is to maintain a 5K as a running base so that I can build on it should I get chosen to participate in the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco this fall. I WILL get that Tiffany finishers necklace. Believe that.

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