Gasparilla Weekend Begins....

I had been looking forward to Friday for one reason - Gasparilla. The Gasparilla weekend has such importance to me, because it's where I fell in love with races. The Gasparilla 5k last year was my first race ever. I was so amazed at how many people came out to run a race. And I was in awe of the expo. So many things geared for running, and so many people having such a great time spending the day at the expo. Of course there were so many things at the expo I obviously had no clue about, but I was interested. From that day forth I was hooked. 

This year I decided to take it up a notch. Or several. I registered for the Beck's Challenge. There were three challenges to choose from and I was undecided between the Beck's and the Michelob Ultra. The Beck's Challenge is to complete the 15k and the 5k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. The Ultra added a race to that. After the half you would run an 8k. I wasn't sure if I could pull off the Ultra, so I opted for the Becks. Of course a short while after registering I ran a marathon and realized I probably could have done it all, but I was happy with my decision. 

I was supposed to get off work at 3pm to give me enough time to get downtown, pick up my packet, and browse the entire expo. Unfortunately I was scheduled until 4. I thought this would be ok since the expo was going on until 8. I convinced my aunt to come with me in hopes that she would register for the 5k. I left work and drove to her house, and then off we went to the expo.

I stood on line for quite some time waiting to pick up my bib. Once I received that, it was on to the next line for our goody bags and shirts. The line was long. People were complaining, and it wasn't very organized. When I finally got to the table I was informed they were out of the jackets you are supposed to receive for doing the Becks challenge. I would be receiving it in the mail. I was a little disappointed. 

After that ordeal we started to walk around the expo. Ran into a few people, took some pictures, and then went in search of some fun running items. 

Me and Doreen 

Ben and I - and Frankenfooter!

I saw a Mizuno booth and immediately decided to try out the new version of the Wave Inspires. I really needed a new pair, so why not take advantage of the expo pricing? I tried on the newer version of my very well loved shoes. They were so much more comfortable than the version I was wearing. This could be because my shoes are so old, or they could just really be improved. I jogged around in them a bit and decided to pick up the pair. Doreen purchased a pair as well and we got a free pair of socks. Score!

Shortly after we realized it was time to head out. We had taken a shuttle bus from the parking lot and were told the last one left at 8pm. It was less than 10 minutes until then. I didn't get to see the whole expo, and I was sad that I didn't find a new headband.

We headed back to Doreens where I had some quick pasta, and then I headed home to sleep.

The Becks challenge was awaiting me in the morning....