15K run (capped at 6,500) 5K run (capped at 14,000) Half Marathon run (capped at 6,500) 8K run (capped at 5,500)
Distances in this event
6:00am Sun 24th Feb 2019
6:40am Sat 23rd Feb 2019
9:15am Sun 24th Feb 2019
9:15am Sat 23rd Feb 2019
Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon Course Information Start: Platt St. & Bayshore Boulevard
Platt to Plant Plant Ave to Davis Is. via Davis Island egress bridge East Davis to Arbor Arbor to Columbia Columbia to Barbados Barbados to Channel Channel to South Davis South Davis to roundabout at West Davis West Davis to East Davis South lane of East Davis off of Island via access ramp to Bayshore (northbound lanes) Bayshore (northbound lanes) to turnaround at Gandy Boulevard Bayshore (southbound lanes) back to Finish Line
15K Course and 5K Course Information The Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K features an out and back course on beautiful Bayshore Boulevard, finishing on Bayshore Boulevard at the foot of the Platt Street Bridge.
Publix Gasparilla 8K Course Information Start: Bayshore Blvd. & Verne St.
Head South on Bayshore Blvd. to W. Stovall St. Turn around at Stovall St. (first cut in median past Bay to Bay Blvd.) Head North on Bayshore Blvd. to Finish Line. Finish: Tarpon Dock, Bayshore Blvd. (between BeachPl. & Hyde park Pl.)
On February 24 and 25, 2018 I participated in the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge (http://www.tampabayrun.com/) in Tampa, FL. For years I had heard about the Gasparilla race series and I was super excited to run it this year. In my true nature, I went all out and ran all the races for the Ultra Challenge. The Ultra Challenge consist of (in their exact order) a 15k and 5k on Saturday and a half marathon and 5k on Sunday. The races were back to back. The Expo The expo was held at the Tampa Convention Center. Number and packet pick was really easy. For the Ultra Challenge I picked up one bib, 4 shirts, and my jacket. There were plenty of vendors who were selling goods and discounted race entries and giving out free samples. I bought a few Sweaty Bands and had a nice ice cream sample (counted as carb loading). The expo had a name wall (one of my favorite expo items) and plenty of signage for photo opps. Saturday Feb 24, 2018 Race #1: 15k The first race for the Ultra Challenge was the 15k. The race started at 6:45 am. Thankfully I stayed 2 blocks from the start line. Since the weather was unseasonably warm they provided wind chillers during the route. The route was similar to the Hot Chocolate Tampa route along Bayshore Blvd. It was flat and there were water stations every other mile. To survive the heat and conserve my energy for the next 3 races, I ran a 2 min/30 sec interval. I finished in 1:50 and grabbed a bite to prep for the 5k. The highlight of finishing the 15k was meeting Meb at the finish line. Race #2: 5k About 20 minutes after finishing the 15k I got in the start corral for the 5k. The official starting time was 9:35 am for me. The 5k was also along Bayshore Blvd. We ran the same out and back course. I ran this race at a slow pace because the heat was starting to get to me. I ran a 1/1 interval and even had a donut during the race (something I never do). I finished the 5k, which also completed half of the Ultra Challenge. I carried my 15k medal in my backpack during the 5k race, but the race offered medal drop off for those who did not want to run with it. They also offered quick snacks between races for the challenge participants. Sunday Feb 25, 2018 Race #3: Half Marathon The race started at 6 am. We ran the first 5 miles through a neighborhood before we ran on Bayshore Blvd for the remainder of the race. We ran on the opposite side of Bayshore than we did on Saturday. I ran a 2 min/1 min interval up to mile 9. At mile 9 the heat was too much and I started to slow down. I finished in less than 3 hours and immediately lined up for the 8k. The medal for the half marathon was a cool pirate skull. It will be a unique addition to my medal collection. Race #4: 8k The 8k was the final race of the Ultra Challenge. I had nothing in the tank to run the 8k so I walked. It was very warm so I walked with one my running buddies and new friend I met along the way. It was fun to just enjoy the last race of the series. Upon completion, I received the 8k and Ultra Challenge medal. Overall it was a great race series. All the distances were fine. The hardest part of the race was the heat. It was in the 70s and 80s through the races. Thankfully the course was flat so the terrain was not something to worry about in addition to the heat. The races were well organized and the swag was nice. The only improvement I would make is to cover the bridge gratings with carpet to prevent tripping during the runs.
This was an overall fun race right along the bay! A flat and fast course as you watch the sunrise -- this was a great experience.The expo was fairly large with a lot of the usual booths and I found it pretty easy to park, get in, get what I needed, cruise around the exhibitors, and get out. Instructions about where to park, how much to expect to pay, how to navigate to the expo hall, etc. could have been more clear, but nothing too terrible.Race morning was similarly confusing, with vague instructions on parking and how to then navigate to the start line. Though not publicized other than a blurb in the pre-race booklet, I utilized the gear check inside the convention center. I found my way to the corrals area, which was extrememly confusing. The announcer actually was giving instructions of where each color bib should line up by giving street names, but as an out-of-towner, I struggled to understand where the correct place to be was. The announcer, at one point, apologized and said he had actually been giving out the wrong locations for lining up, adding to my confusion and frustration. I quickly figured it out by seeking out folks who had the same color bib as I did, but I was dissatisfied with this process overall.The race starts on Davis Island and is rather neat! It begins with a brick road that was in pretty good condition. The route then continues around the island past some beautiful homes and in the view of some of the docked cruise ships in port. The race then heads back toward the bay where the rest of course is run. It is a beautiful view and as you go along, the sun rises to your left. It being so close to the water meant that when the sun came up, there was no shade to provide relief from the heat. I admit that I got a little bored of this since it was out-and-back for miles 5 through Finish.The finish line finally came and I was so excited to see it! It had begun to really get warm. I received a bottle of water, an ice cold rag (heaven) and one of the sweetest medals I've ever received. There were no race goodies or food to be found. I know a plate of food was supposed to be somewhere in addition to beer, but I never was able to find it? If it was in a different location, there was no signage or information pointing runners in that direction. I gave up looking after a short while.My last note is that while the festival Gasparilla is held in January, this race is held about three weeks later. Other than a brief photo oppurnunity with a busty pirate, there was no Gasparilla theming to this race.Aside from my few greiveances, none of these would stop me from running this race again. This was its 41st anniversary and it definitely draws a loyal crowd of runners who come back year after year. I will still recommend this race to those looking for a fun and fast springtime race.
What a well-run race! I registered late, but still got into the half. The challenge series sell out pretty quickly, I hear. Race morning, I got there pretty early, about 4:45 am for a 6 am start, but super easy parking. The convention center is open for the runners, so plentiful restrooms and plenty of area for everyone to hang out before the race. Beautiful course, along the water, so there was a nice breeze. Some of the nicest pavement I've run in a while. Post race food was plentiful and really good, with each person getting a big plate of Columbia food along with the usual post-race snacks and fruit. Slight hiccup with the beer as it can't be served until 11 am and I was done running by 8:15 am, so I didn't hang around for that. Long sleeve tech shirt seems to be true to size. I'd call this an easy barefoot run and would be a good distance run for someone getting into the distance barefoot thing. Bonus--Meb was on the course at mile 7 for cheering and selfies!
This is my third year running Gasparilla but my first time running the 8K. The weather is always unpredictable. Last year was gorgeous, this year was hot and humid. If you are ever doing a race in FL make sure you check the dew point!Expo - Gasparilla always has an awesome expo. Lots of vendors that sample everything from food, new products, to things you know and love. It is 2 days and has easy to attend hours. There is parking at the convention center but it is easy enough to part at the Ft. Brooke Garage or any of the downtown meters and just walk over to the expo. The swag for the races all varies. I love the 8K race shirt because it is short-sleeved. I did the 8K as part of the lime challenge and that means I also got a Lime challenge jacket. If you do the half marathon you get a long-sleeved shirt. They also give you a weekend themed tote bag, which is also great to grab cheer supplied and samples!Race Day parking is usually easy. It was quick and easy to drive into the Ft. Brooke garage. Be aware, it is a $10 fee to park and you have to pay in advance. They take credit but cash is totes quicker!The Gasparilla race courses are some of the most scenic. The course usually has a decent breeze, which isn't always in your favor, and there is a ton of course support. Ample water and Gatorade on the course. This year, due to the heat, they added mister fans at every aid station which were AWESOME! The 8K begins at 9:15am so prepare for really hot, super sunny, and zero shade!The finish line area was much improved this year! You finish and they hand you a SUPER COLD washcloth as you walk a little ways up to where they have water bottle and Gatorade. Then you keep walking to pickup your medal. Then photo areas right after. It is never over crowded and you never feel like you are being ushered away. Then you walk around to the other-side of the convention center to get post-race food and such. On our way there we saw the new Dick's Sporting Goods P "arrrrrh" bell (get it, Pirates, Arrr)! This year's logo was updated to be a really cool looking octopus. So the 8K medal had that as well. I really like it! If you are in Tampa on Gasparilla race weekend you don't want to miss out!!
This is my third year running Gasparilla but my first time running the 15K. The weather is always unpredictable. Last year was gorgeous, this year was hot and humid. If you are ever doing a race in FL make sure you check the dew point!Expo - Gasparilla always has an awesome expo. Lots of vendors that sample everything from food, new products, to things you know and love. It is 2 days and has easy to attend hours. There is parking at the convention center but it is easy enough to part at the Ft. Brooke Garage or any of the downtown meters and just walk over to the expo. The swag for the races all varies. I love the 15K race shirt because it is short-sleeved. I did the 15K as part of the lime challenge and that means I also got a Lime challenge jacket. If you do the half marathon you get a long-sleeved shirt. They also give you a weekend themed tote bag, which is also great to grab cheer supplied and samples!Race Day parking is usually easy. We found it to be pretty crowded to get into the garage about 45min before the start. We just found street parking and walked a little ways to the start line. The Gasparilla race courses are some of the most scenic. You get to watch the sun come up over the Tampa Bay! The course usually has a decent breeze, which isn't always in your favor, and there is a ton of course support. Ample water and Gatorade on the course. This year, due to the heat, they added mister fans at every aid station which were AWESOME!The finish line area was much improved this year! You finish and they hand you a SUPER COLD washcloth as you walk a little ways up to where they have water bottle and Gatorade. Then you keep walking to pickup your medal. Then photo areas right after. It is never over crowded and you never feel like you are being ushered away. Then you walk around to the other-side of the convention center to get post-race food and such. On our way there we saw the new Dick's Sporting Goods P "arrrrrh" bell (get it, Pirates, Arrr)! Post-race food was ok. I however, always appreciate a race that isn't just a banana. There were fruit cups, bags of pretzels, and granola bars. Not bad for a 15K! I don't usually eat much post-race so this was just enough. This year's logo was updated to be a really cool looking octopus. So the 15K medal had that as well. I really like it! If you are in Tampa on Gasparilla race weekend you don't want to miss out!!
This was my 1st year completing the half marathon distance for this race. This year I did it as part of the Gasparilla Amber Challenge. The challenge consists of the 15k & 5 K on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday.Travel to Tampa is easy in and out. The airport is one of my favorites to travel through and is very kid friendly. There are many hotels you can stay at in the area within walking distance but you have to reserve them early. I previously lived in Tampa and stay a bit out from the race area to take advantage of the local sites. The expo has easy parking either on the street or nearby garages. I always pick up my packet on Friday as you can pick up for both days on Friday. The expo is always amazing very large with so much free swag. There are games kids can play, a wall with all the runners names, great pirate themed merchandise as well. There is typically a charity based dinner on Friday night you can pay for when you register for the race. Race day parking is plentiful but you have to arrive early for the best spots. The race itself is an easy course very flat and scenic along Bayshore. This portion of the race includes Davis Island which has beautiful views of the morning sunrise around all the water. It is a nice change since the course is so repetitive over the two days of multiple race distances. It can be cool at the start but don't let that fool you the race really warms up by the end. It was great to cheer for the professional athletes (Joan Benoit Samuelson, Meb, & Stephanie Bruce to name a few) and locals with the out and back course set up. There was a fire juggler, rough riders handing out beads and doughnuts, pirates and other costumes along the way. This course also has the best race announcer Bart Yasso (the mayor of running) to call you in at the end. I will do this race again next year as I already signed up for the Ultra challenge for next year.
Do this race every year, and if you are big into doing the challenges this one offers a lot of bang for your buck! not too much elevation if any, and it will warm up if you are towards the back of the pack with the sun coming up over bayshore but the view is so nice! As far as spectators go cheering you on, this doesn't draw a HUGE crowd but it does draw plenty of locals.
This was my 2nd year doing this race and it is one of my favorites! The expo is on par with the likes of Rock n Roll or Disney. The t-shirts are tech fabric and usually offer a really nifty pirate design. What I love about this race is how easy it is to get to and park. We live in Tampa but are able to drive in and park within walking distance of the start line. The course is very pretty and runs along Bayshore Blvd in Downtown Tampa. I gave the course a 4 because it is an out and back course. It is only so pretty for so long. This past year there was a killer headwind for the last 4 miles coming back to the finish line. This race also boasts a pretty sweet pirate medal. It is a great alternative to Disney's Princess half marathon which is the same weekend. It is only about a 90 minute drive from Disney and has a great atmosphere!
Gasparilla is a Tampa tradition and a very well organized race. There are no shortage of amenities for the runners. The expo is easy to navigate and has lots of booths and options. There are lots of different races you can do, from a 5k to a 1/2 marathon, to challenges with 2-4 races, so there's truly an option for everyone! Parking is pretty easy to navigate in downtown Tampa and the start areas are organized by pace, not corral so you just line up according to your estimated finishing time (unless you are elite then you get a seeded bib and go to the front). There are a lot of people, but the course is pretty wide in most parts and you rarely have to worry about people cutting you off or getting in front of you. February weather in Florida can be a crapshoot so you never know whether it will be hot or cold- if you are traveling for this race I recommend bringing a little of everything to be prepared. The year I did it (2017) it was cool and the weather was really nice, but some years its been pretty hot as well.Scenery is AMAZING in downtown Tampa. Lots of the race is along the waterways and you can sometimes catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming in the bay in the early hours of the morning. The only thing is that if you do the challenges, it can get a little old running the same course. Each of the races is along Bayshore, so that can get a little boring by the second day. However, its a nice flat course and definitely a good place to attempt a PR if the weather is good enough on race morning. Logistically this is one of the most organized races I've been at. There are several aid stations, and the runners have directions everywhere. There are plenty of port o potties, the finish chute is well organized in order to get your medals, food, water and there are places everywhere to hang out/reunite with family and friends. The convention center is perfect to host all the runners and there really isn't anywhere that I felt boxed in by other people. On cold days they hand out the mylar blankets at the finish so that was nice the year I did it. There are a lot of photographers on course, so just hang to the left or right and you're bound to get your picture taken by someone. The swag for the challenge races is AWESOME. Definitely do a challenge if you can manage it. The prices are pretty good too (for $200 you get 4 races as opposed to $350 for two races at Disney, so it's a really good bargain if you like to get swag and medals and run multiple events).
The 5k is a quick out and back on bay shore, and it caters to walkers and runners a like. I would say the one downfall to the race is the time it starts, it is later in the day because they stack the races. This means it can be very warm, and the sun can really beat down on you. They have water out there even for the 5k though, because of this. It is nice to see a lot of families out there participating.