2014: My Year in Running

2014 has been a memorable year for me in just running alone! I completed my first 10K, first 15K, first half, PR’d my 5K time and completed my second half with a PR!

Today, I am teaming up with several wonderful ladies from the Girls Gone Sporty crew for an end of the year link up blog post to discuss our year in running and racing by “awarding” our experiences.

Shout out to Montana over at Pretty Lil’ Mudder for organizing all of this 🙂

Most Scenic Course. For me this would have to be the Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon and 5K. There is no other course I can think of that has the beauty this course does, with the beach including a sunrise over the water and a mile through a nice shaded park.
Clearwater, FL. Image courtesy of Google.
Clearwater, FL.
Image courtesy of Google.
Most Challenging Course. I would have to grant this one to Iron Girl as well. While scenic, there’s nothing more challenging than to run over two bridges, just to turn around and have to run back over both again.
2014 Clearwater Half Marathon Course Map
2014 Clearwater Half Marathon Course Map
The Sandy Key Bridge. Only one of two bridges I had to go over twice! It is VERY steep.
The Sandy Key Bridge. Only one of two bridges I had to go over twice! It is VERY steep.
Best Expo. Without a doubt the Gasparilla Distance Classic earned this one. I just felt like the expo was never going to end walking up and down the aisles. Lol. This was by far the largest expo I had ever attended with well over 100 vendors, you could easily spend an hour roaming and stopping by booths.
Best Post-Race Food/Beverages. I’m usually not one for the post-race party, ill walk around grab a granola bar and a banana and then be on my way. The St. Pete Beach Classic wins my vote for this category. All the post race amenities are patrolled by volunteers and in order to access the food tent you must show your bib, if your guests do not have one they are not allowed inside. I like this as too many times at races see I many non-runners indulging in the post-race party food. The food at this race was really good too. They had assorted fruit, yogurt, bagels, other pastries, etc. It was almost like a full continental breakfast bar with coffee and juice.
Best Swag. I’d have to say, Gasparilla Distance Classic wins this category. From the medal to the race shirt, not to mention the bib was pretty cool too. I also really liked that the swag bag was a re-usable grocery bag that I use pretty much every time I go to the store.

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Most Unique Medal. Hands down this one goes out to Best Damn Race Cape Coral. This is the biggest medal currently in my collection, coming in at 6 inches wide by 3 inches in width. Not going to lie it definitely has some weight to it. Lol. I love the stained glass bottom boat finish.
Best Damn Bling! 6 inches wide by 3 inches in width. Not going to lie it definitely has some weight to it. Lol.
Best Damn Bling!
Favorite Race Shirt. The tech tee I received at the BDR Cape Coral is pretty sweet. I have yet to wear as I just picked it up this past weekend but I really love this design.
I love the pattern featured on the sides of the shirt.
I love the pattern featured on the sides of the shirt.
Favorite Overall Race. One of my top favorite races this year was the Rum Run in Portland, OR. This was my first time running a race out of state, but what I think I enjoyed the most about it was that I was able to run it with my sister. Though her pace is much faster than mine it was still nice to start off together and have her cheering me on at the end.
My sister and I with the Tiki man before the race.
My sister and I with the Tiki man before the race.
Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc). Most of my races have had really good course support it’s hard to choose the winner of this category. I’d have to say it’s a tie between Gasparilla and Best Damn Race Cape Coral. With both races, the course took you along or near residential areas where many residents would come sit outside on their driveway cheering you on. Gasparilla had volunteers passing out halves of Krispy Kreme donuts halfway through the race and manning spray misters on that mild, humid day. Best Damn Race had Nuun and Gu at their energy stations, not that I use much of either of those products it was nice to have those added amenities.
Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing. The race I am most proud of myself for completing would be my first half marathon. I remember when I first got serious about my running and I was doing 5k, how a half seemed way out of my league and I thought my sister was crazy for running one. Fast forward 2 1/2 years later and I had registered for my first half with barely 4 miles under my belt. My goal was to finish strong and I did coming in at 2:37:52.
Mile 13 post
20 weeks of training, over 250 miles logged in training and a single pair of shoes.
Be sure to head over and check out the other wonderful ladies participating in this link up:

Link up your post about this theme so your post will be found in the linkup archives.  Then, link back to our blogs to share the linkup with your readers.

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3 thoughts on “2014: My Year in Running

    1. Thanks, Melanie! You are going to like Gasparilla 🙂 I can’t wait to read your race review on it. As for Best Damn Race, the name says it all. Currently the series is only in Florida. The just launched Cape Coral this year and will come to Jacksonville in January. Their other locations currently are in Safety Harbor (Tampa Bay Area) and Orlando, but they are expanding to other cities. The great thing about BDR is the registration is tiered, so the first person to register can only pays $1 then the next 5, $5 the next 10 $20, etc. Definitely an affordable race-cation 🙂

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