For the inaugural race of the Oldsmar Tap House 5K, the race organizers were not nearly prepared for the sheer volume of runners for this race. Perhaps, it had something to do with the free beer offered at the finish line. I heard a rumor that they anticipated around 200 people and in the end, 1200 people participated in Friday’s race.
A massive crowd means long lines at the port-o-potties. While Lori and I admired das boots dangling from a canopy, we spotted a port-o-pot hiding in the corner. No lines and no waiting at this slightly larger than a normal port-o-potty. So, Lori nipped into the loo, while I joke about the VIP port-o-potty with a gentleman waiting in line behind me.
“Um, well it is for VIPs,” the gentleman replied. “It belongs to the Tap House Running Club. This is our route and we bought it specifically for our runs.”
“Nuh-uh! Are you serious!?” And the gentleman showed me the VIP band wrapped around his wrist.
“Well, that is taking training to the next level, really isn’t it? I mean, you have to plan your port-o-potty breaks during races, don’t you? I promise that your secret VIP port-o-potty is safe with me, but only if you let me use it. PLEASE!”
It was that or I would pee in one of their fancy VIP boots.
Several friends and I decided to run in this fun run together. We even made it a couple’s night out and the non-runners, like my Allan, Erika and John came out to join in the binge at the beer fest.
Before the race, I slipped away to study the race route map and lost my friends in the massive crowd. I found myself all alone with no one to pace with. That was my first mistake since I promised my friends Mike and Lori that I would start slow (~9 mm).
Unfortunately, my adrenaline kicked in (like it always does) at the start of the race and I found myself running a 7:30 pace for the first ½ mile. I tried to slow myself down to conserve my energy, but the pack mentality only motivated me to keep moving.
Around mile 1, Mike caught up to me and helped me slow down, but then he lost his steam and I was on my own to pace myself.
Although I enjoyed the scenic race route along the bay through the city of Oldsmar, the heat and humidity was unbearable.
As I crossed the finish, I felt like puking and the thought of beer only made the feeling worse. Once I gulped down Gatorade and water, I felt better, but it still took a while to cool down and nearly an hour before I could enjoy a beer. But, no boot for me!
One of the hubbies from my moms group managed to win a boot at 17:31! This blur is Tommy passing me at his mile 2 marker.
His wife, Sarah, ran her first 5K with us and now has been bitten by the running bug. She can’t wait to run another race with us and I am happy to gain another running partner!
Chrissy ran her second 5K her (36:29) with her husband, Mike, who actually finished with Sarah at 30:53. Lori crossed the finish line at 33:23 and paced herself with her race top twin.
The race was fun, but the after party rocked and it had nothing to do with the free beer, free food or live music. I loved having everyone (and a random photobomber) together to celebrate our small victories.