Armadillo Run 10K Recap

Having never participated in this race before, I was excited and oddly nervous about the Armadillo Run 10K.  Despite the number of races under my belt, I still get nervous and have to pee a dozen times before the start.

In its 30th year, the Armadillo Run was held in the sleepy and beautiful town of Oldsmar, known for its history as well as its beauty.  (And also a stone’s throw away from where my husband works, which had me wondering, “Why is Vology not a sponsor?”)

It’s a small race (about 500 people) with a beautiful flat course along the bay.  We started adjacent to the Oldsmar library on St. Petersburg Rd and followed scenic Shore Drive.

Along the way, we passed three parks with a turnaround at the last park at the end of Shore Drive, which I never knew existed.  I thoroughly enjoyed our quick tour of the grounds but I was even more grateful for the shade and overcast which kept the race climate cool, especially after a scorcher the week before at Gasparilla.

For the last mile, I paced with a male runner at about 9mm.  Then, with only a quarter mile left to go, he sprinted and took off.  I just couldn’t push any harder and I was left in his wake.  Although my short-lived running partner left me, I finished alongside a fellow Suncoast Strider, Aaron.

When I crossed the finish line, my short-lived running race partner, Justin, stopped me to offer some gratitude and cheers. “Thanks for helping push it that last bit.”

“But you left me!  Next time give me a heads-up, some kind of warning when you’re going push it, like “C’mon, girl.  Let’s do this!

Thanks, Justin for being there for me..or not (lol)…but definitely thanks for cheering for me at the finish, posing for a photo with me and introducing me to your Run Tampa friends, Johanne and Patricia.  It was wonderful meeting you all!  See you at the next race!

As much as I desperately wanted to finish under an hour, I just couldn’t do it.  Perhaps, if I hadn’t taken so many photos, I may have met that goal, but this is what I do.  It makes me happy to snap photos while I run.

I’d rather run happy and finish with a smile.

Gun Time 1:02:16  

Chip Time 1:01:54

Ave Pace 10:02

Speaking of smiles, there was quite an awesome party at the end of this race.  I’ve had free beer at races for two weeks in a row.  I love the trend but I really loved this race.  It’s definitely one to keep on my To Do race list.

And next year, I’ll finish under an hour.

PhotoStory Fridaythe hollie rogue Look whooooo’s snapping Unknown Mami

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+


  1. Brandi Jackson says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Justin and the Run Tampa group! Justin was the first person to help me prove to myself that I could run more miles, at a decent pace, non-stop than I ever believed that I could. He is a great bud to have out there on the race course! 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    Great race! I’m itching to race a 10k again… I think the last one was 2 months post-partum, time for a do-over, as soon as my ankle heals. 🙂

  3. Courtney says:

    I LOVE what you said – “I’d rather run happy….”. That’s awesome. I think it’s very cool that you snap pics along the way. Great job on the race! Thanks so much for linking up!

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