I ran the half marathon this year. As usual, it was very well done -- great course, many volunteers, lots of spectator support, good age groups, and rapid results.
My one sugestion for improvement would be for a later start time. The 6 AM start is a bit early for those who drive from out of town, but more importantly, it is dark at that time, and difficult to see where one is stepping. It made sense to to start this early when there was a marathon starting at the same time, so as to clear the city streets for the afternoon, and for the slower runners to avoid the mid-day sun. But, now that the marathon is no longer run, the half marathon start could be moved to 7 AM.
I ran the half marathon for the first time. I usually run the 15k or 5k on Saturday. Overall the race was good, the biggest issue I had is with the start. Honestly, this was probably the worse start for a course that I have ever run and I have run well over 50 races in my life time. I understand the narrow streets but having a sharp left turn right at the beginning of the race while people are still bunch up is very dangerous.
It looks like the race start will be the same place in 2012, I would recommend having a straighter start if at all possible.
Beautiful weather for a race. Very polite volunteers. We were extremely surprised to not receive tech shirts. I would suggest that the water station be moved closer to finish line.
This was my first 5K and really enjoyed it, my 11 year old middle school cross country runner ran with me or should I say ran ahead of me and I think the Blue Cross Blue Shield kids tent was a wonderful idea, with all the people in this event I know my daughter was nervous and knowing at the end of the race she would be directed where to go eased my mind for my own race. She loved it and cant wait to race another one.
This was my first time participating in the half marathon. I am a run/walker and have I participated in 3 Disney 1/2 marathons, one being this past January. I think the start time was perfect. I just think there needs to be corrals. My team and I got the start area early, and as a run/walker it would have benefited me to have corrals. Some of the runners were aggressive and upset when running with slower runners. The turn in the beginning was very tight. The course was flat and was nice running near the water. I loved the Expo. I plan to participate again next year, just consider corrals for next year. Thanks
This was my 2nd time running the 5K and another enjoyable run. Liked the t-shirts but would have preferred the dri fit like last year.
I ran the half marathon again this year. I've run this race several times in the past years as well as sever of the marathons and 15K's. These races are always very well run. My one suggestion would be to have corrals by expected finish times. This year the start seemed more crowded than in past year but that might be due to being stuck towards rear of the runners/walkers at the start line. The clock was at over 4 minutes by the time I got to the start line and the roads were completely blocked with walkers. This became a real problem on the first bridge as we almost came to a complete stop on the bridge. Not a problem for some but if you are interested in improving your time or setting a PR this caused a lot of frustration. If there was a way to run a couple of miles before hitting that bridge it might help thin out the crowd. Other than that the race is well run and plenty of water and support.
My husband ran the 15k on Saturday and we both ran the half marathon Sunday..my first time!!!
It was a fantastic event overall! My husband thinks that cannons would have been a great kickoff for the start of each race..afterall it is Gasparilla! He also thinks there should be staggered start times to prevent all the pile up.
I felt the half marathon was great! There were plenty of water stops...almost too many Maybe more porta's as I always saw lines as we passed them. The gu was great and much needed at mile 9 as well as the misters. They were much needed as the sun was out and it was getting warm. The support from the community, schools, cheerleaders, was unexpected, amazing, and greatly appreciated. The food tents were great-loved the bagels and bananas! Wish there was a way to shorten the Columbia's Meal Line but when you have 7,000 people running it makes it difficult. We skipped that part. The only other bad thing was the beer on Sunday. Everyone seemed confused from staff to police to convention center as to whether or not we could be served beer before 11. I would have thought this would have been figured out well in advance. That was our only disappoinment, the refreshing glass of free beer that continued to drive us past mile 10 and on to the finish line...we didnt want to continue to wait for them to decide so we left and got breakfast at First Watch downtown (highly recommended).
Great weather, a beautiful course, and a nice heavy medal! Cant wait for next year!!
This was my first time running the half. I thought they did a great job with providing plenty of water, and I really enjoyed the course. I've done races that started in the dark before, so that didn't really bother me. As a slower runner, I'd rather start early and be done before it gets too hot, than be finishing later in the heat!
The first turn (half marathon) was bizarre.
Corrals would have been helpful at the start. Lighting at the start would also have been nice, as the road is not in great repair and the sun was not up-- I saw lots of stumbling and it seems as though it could be a liability.
I can't say enough about the high schoolers- they added a lot of pep and inspiration.
The post-race food/water was quite a hike after that run.
This was my first gasparilla run. I thought it was really awesome. They definitely need to corral people next year. I loved the shirts, bags and the food that was after the race, although the lines were really long. Seems like there could have been two going at the same time. The half began at the right time but was pretty hot by the ending, although the misters really helped! Lots of water and gatoraid stations. I could have used the gu gels a little earlier, like mile 7 or 8. Great cheering along the way. Will be back next year.
I ran the 5K and the half and also had two sons that ran the 5K. We all had a fun and successful experience. I have run this race throughout the years and participant in races at least 2 times a month. I was highly disappointed last year because I took a chance and registered the day of- and we did not get chips, t-shirts or awards. However, the organization did send us the t-shirt and medals which I thought was fantastic! I did learn my lesson and properly registered this year and was VERY happy they did the bib timers. Our registered times were all correct (I've read mixed reviews) and was absolutely amazed how quickly the times were posted. Great volunteer support, water/gatorade stations, port-a-potties etc. Entertainment- nice. We will continue to enjoy the race. If smaller races are your thing (or should be your thing) there are a lot of nice races in our community! Thanks Gasparilla race organizers!
Good Half-Marathon, flat course, well organized. More than enough water/gatorade. Great volunteers. This race featured "pacers" which I used to get me to a new PR.
Good after-race refreshments etc. Will make this an annual event.
Overall outstanding preparation and execution of an enormous event. I did all four races, and enjoyed all four.
Thanks for everyones hard work. In the light of unfortunate events that shed a negative light on our area, it's refreshing to see groups work hard and show case the Tampa Bay area with such a positive event. Congratulations!
I love this race! This year was my third Gasparilla Half Marathon. I have run many races and this one is my favorite. The atmosphere is great, the expo is great, and the course is fantastic. The race is so well planned and executed that it is a joy to run. Thanks for all your hard work - and for the amazing half marathon medal!