Monday, April 23, 2012
I got up at 5:00am to get ready to take DSSECRETS to the Iron Girl for the 7:30 start. Dropped her off at the start in Clearwater then drove to the finish line in Clearwater Beach. Found a great parking spot (FREE) by the marina slips, went and got a coffee then headed to the finish. The age range was 3 years old to 84! Very impressive. Checked the time and estimated the winning time. I guessed 19-20 minutes. I saw the 5K winner, Tricia Brookover, a former Gator track star and Palm Harbor home girl, cross at 19:44!
She also took first in her age group in the 2010 Princess Half. Her daughter, 14, came in 3rd this race, with a 20:07! They crushed the Mother/Daughter Team event!
I don't know why but I got pretty emotional and teary eyed watching these strong women crossing the finish line. Maybe it was knowing their commitment and love for the run. I know one reason was the fact that my Superwoman was running in this race for the second year in a row! Speaking of DSSECRETS, she came in with a personal best and I couldn't have been prouder!
I love D's pink Iron Girl headband!
I did notice one thing. At the finish, the volunteers who handed out medals started creeping closer to the finish line. I think they were clueless that some of these runners were sprinting to the finish and had no room to slow down or cool down after crossing. Then, to make matters worse, the runners started backing up dangerously closer to the finish due to the volunteers who were cutting off the time chips. That backed up the finishers even more. The bottom line is the finish area just wasn't big enough. At the Gasparilla (11000+ runners) and Rock n Roll (7500+), there was more than enough room. Lessons learned I hope. Here's the photo proof...
Obviously, some finishers were still in great spirits! :P
Overall, Athleta put on a great race with the successful mission "to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle." I think I mentioned on SparkPeople that the finisher medals were awesome! Everyone had post race breakfast together on the beach. Very cool. The EXPO was health informative, advertised future races, and great run gear for sale. For me, I loved just being a spectator, supporting and cheering all the Iron Girls on. These are the races that truly rock!