September 29, 2013

HOT Run 5K and 10K, St. Pete Beach, FL, Sept. 19, 2013: race recap

I may have mentioned a time or 50 that summer running kind of sucks for me. So, when an inaugural summer race came about, I really debated if I wanted to do it. I thought about volunteering. But, after the majority of my running group signed up for either the 5K or 10K, I decided to go for the 5K. Maybe it would be motivating? Maybe I could finally shake my horrible running streak?
The race was on a Thursday evening, which was a nice change from the super-early Saturday or Sunday morning. But, it also had the potential to be hot and humid. And, it was.
It also had some sprinkles, which caused a slight delay in the start.

Scary sky before the start

The course was a totally flat, rectangular-shaped loop. For the 5K, it was two loops. For the 10K, it was four loops. The course went along Pass-A-Grille Beach, east to Boca Ciega Bay, north along the bay, west to the beach and south again to complete the loop. So, incredible views the entire way.
The idea with the 7:20 p.m. start time is that you’d see a 7:30 p.m. sunset over the Gulf and at 7:36 p.m. full moon rising over the bay. Unfortunately with the rain, you didn’t really see either. 

Sunset trying to show through the clouds.
I should have gone into this race with the idea to just have fun and enjoy my running group pals. Instead, I got some crazy idea in my head that some miracle could occur and I could finally get that under-30-minute 5K.
Fun before the race

I started off “fast,” and boy did I regret that. I felt pretty miserable the entire race. There’s no need to analyze each mile or figure out where things went wrong. I just wasn’t ready for a personal record (PR) 5K. That sweet previous time of 30:09 seems so far away.
Aside from my performance, the race itself was fun! They had DJs stationed along the course. They had fun lighting and even a station that blasted out cryogen (cold air).
After sweating like a maniac and crossing the finish line at 33:21, I got this sweet medal. 

HOT is from a local radio station (HOT 101.5) not based
on the temperature or the people wearing the medal.
I actually had to towel off (well, napkin off, technically) before this
photo because I was so sweaty.

The Hurricane Restaurant provided the post-race food (the race began and ended there), and it was pretty sweet, too.

While this personally wasn’t a great race for me, it was for so many people in my running group. There were PRs and age group placers galore. These peeps are amazing! And, having that group support makes a personally poor race so much more bearable. If not for celebrating others’ successes (or even commiserating about others’ bad races), I would just dwell on my poor performance and take that turn to negative town.

Fit2Run St. Pete represent!

Thanks to some of these great running peeps, I learned so many things this race:
  • An injured runner is a bitter walker.
  • Fourth place is a very bitter place.
  • No matter how long the wait for beer is, it’s worth it.
  • Watch out for piles of puke on the course.
  • Celebrate others’ successes.
I also learned that the HOT Race was a blast, and I’m looking forward to running it next year.
Do you ever run races for fun? Have you ever done a loop course? Did you run the HOT Run? What did you think?


  1. I really wanted to do this race but hubby was out of town and he wanted to do it too. So, I didn't do it. It looked like fun - I was worried about the weather for it!

  2. That sounds like it would be a nice run, especially if the weather had cooperated. I love your #1 bullet point. That's me to a T right now! HAHAHA!


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