Double Race Weekend Recap – Part 2 – Sarasota Half Marathon

If you missed part 1 – read here!

The Sarasota Half marathon has been on my radar to run for the last two years but it always falls on the same weekend as the Gate River Run 15K.  This year I decided I was ready and trained enough to conquer both in the same weekend!

First, I am so grateful for the support that my husband gives me – doing this double race weekend meant that he had the kiddos for two nights!  He’s my biggest cheerleader!

After my drive to Sarasota, I settled into the hotel and met up with my two roommates for the night – Caitlyn and Meghan!  We had dinner at a local resturant called “Made“.  Those of you from Tampa can appreciate this, “It was like Datz and the Oxford Exchange had a baby!”, quote from Caitlyn!  I ate yummy scallops with a jalapeno corn dish and some of there special MADE mac-n-cheese.  Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the food! With full bellies, we went to bed relatively earlier.

On Sunday morning we woke with enough time to get to the start line (only 2 miles from the hotel)!  I made a beeline for a restroom break and then returned for the Tampa Bay Blogger Photo – not all TBBloggers are pictured below!
Pictured below from Left to Right is Chrissy Bell, ME, Nanci Cernak, Caitlyn Connolly, Denise Mestanza-Taylor and Haley Duke!  (Click each name to visit their blog – they will be posting their race thoughts soon too!)

Not pictured: Flower JoviaAlexandria LynnSteph Gee

I had not looked at the course map prior to running this race so I was in for a surprise!  Just after mile 1 we crossed the beautiful John Ringling Bridge and Causeway.  Upon arriving at St. Armand’s Circle it occurred to me that I had not been there.  Despite being a long time Floridian, I had not yet made the trip to Sarasota for the Ringling Museum or St Armand’s circle. Of course a photo with a statue was necessary in St Armand’s Circle – “Yes, I am running this race!”.

Around the circle and back over the bridge.  It began to warm up.  I caught up with a handful of Suncoast Striders at the exchange for the relay and pushed on.  The last half of the race was through some residential neighborhoods with some beautiful views of the intercoastal waterway. Along the way I encounter several “Hollywood Run Club” members – and a familiar face in Sarah as the 2:45 pacer!  You may remember my encounter with this group in the Miami Marathon.  A neat and encouraging group of people, much like the Striders back in Tampa!

The last two miles were hot and had little shade, however I could see the end was in sight!  Crossing the finish line at 2:42, I was thrilled with this performance after running a 15K the day prior.

The post-race festivities were great!  There was plenty of food and a variety of options put on my First Watch!  Muffins, pancakes, yogurt parfaits, bananas… you get the idea!

For me – this race was about friendship.  Running has brought me so many amazing people who I now call friends.  So grateful for each of them! So here they are – meet a few of them!

Strider Tracy – better known as our best T-Shirt maker!
Rebecca (and her daughter) and Jackie – two I Run 4 ladies that also ran their first full marathon with me at Spacecoast! Rebecca and I pushed each other past the “wall” at Spacecoast!
My long time friend Caitlyn (19 years!) and my newest running friend Meghan! Caitlyn introduced me to running and Meghan is aiming to qualify for Boston this summer at the Grandma’s Marathon!
Caitlyn, Nanci and I heading up the bridge! I met Nanci through Instagram/running/Caitlyn – she is also my amazing car decal lady!
Three amazing Strider ladies: Cassie, Liz and Karen!

I know you are on photo overload at this point, but there is one more to share! Check out the huge dolphin medal from this race!  Double Race weekend completed!  I would totally recommend that you register early if this is a race you are considering for next year!  It is running at 35% off until Sunday, March 22nd! Click here for registration!

What about you – have you ever run multiple races in the same weekend?

Disclaimer: I received a free race entry for the Sarasota Half Marathon in exchange for my review and promotion of this event!  All opinions expressed are my own!

8 thoughts on “Double Race Weekend Recap – Part 2 – Sarasota Half Marathon”

  1. I am just so happy for you, Jess, that you have something that you love so much! I think all of this is just fantastic!!

    As always, so proud of you. Grandma

  2. It’s never a photo overload for me. You know, I love my race photos! lol

    Great recap! And congrats on this HUGE accomplishment! After that, you’re all set for the GDC Amber Challenge next year! 😉

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