The weather was nearly perfect for February in Florida, about 70 degrees when the race started. Of course I was training when in was 40 and 50 so it was too warm for me, excuse #1. The course went for just over 3 miles from the Tampa river out along Bayshore and back.
I was determined to run as far as I could before I started walking. Some one at the starting line had a big sign talking about Jesus. See the green arrow, that's me. Kathi could not get in the middle of the runners to get close, and the crowd made it hard to get a clear shot. Did I mention there were 8686 racers? The race started fast. I ran a few blocks but could not keep running because of all the people, excuse #2. After a few blocks a church group was singing and waving. Very friendly. After I made the turn on to Bayshore there was another person with a sign with bible verses who was shouting out how were all going to hell. One of the runners began signing a phrase "highway to hell." I guess those are words from a song.
Not to much later, I was wishing I had some water. Then along came a water station, but it was on the other side of the road. I couldn't cut in front of all the other runners so I waited. At this point it seemed like I was running backwards, so many runner were passing me! I sure could have used some water, excuse #3. At last we came to the u-turn on Bayshore to make the run back to the finish line near downtown. Just over a mile to go. I soom came to the water station I missed going the other way. As I was waiting my turn, the gentleman passing out cups ran out. After waiting around a while, excuse #4, I found another cup and got some nice cold water. I noticed a bazillion empty cups strewn all over the street after the water station. I asked myself why all these people would litter when there is a trash receptacle. I ran past the receptacle before I finished my water so I put the empty cup in my pocket until I came to another water station with trash can a little later. There were all these children passing me, many very young. Ugh, the race was getting long and I was getting tired. Just after the water I heard this squad of military persons running in formation, with three carrying flags. They were still going the other way on Bayshore, way behind me. Did I mention all the children and little old ladies who were passing me? About a quarter mile from the finish, the military squad passed me, still in formation. The runners clapped, but not for too long, since I suspect some were as tired as me.
About a 100 yards from the finish line I put it into full speed, you know for show. No one else passed me for a little while. Kathi was waiting at the finish line to take pictures.
Did I mention there were 8686 people who finished the run. I finished 6041 overall and 107th of the 152 men in the 60-64 age group. Kathi took this picture. I was putting on a good face, but was really tired and wobbled a little when I walked. One of the ladies in the office finished right behind me, but she was sick yesterday so that was no consolation. The medal was given to everyone who finished.
This is the transponder that kept track of my time. It was attached to my right shoe. Really pretty cool technology. The results were posted to a website so you can check me out if you want. Just click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser.
You will have to enter my name or Bib # and then press search. My personal results will pop up.