Race Reviews - St. Petersburg Distance Classic

Reviews from Our St. Petersburg Race


St. Pete is a city that has really been revitalized in the past 15 years. As such, this race does a great job of showcasing the city, as well as the award-winning Pinellas rail-to-trail which is where you run the majority of the 2nd half of the marathon. The race is very well organized, and the director and his wife work tirelessly to ensure every athlete has a great racing experience, regardless of the distance run. There are good hotels to stay at near the race start and finish line, and there is also ample parking. The weather this year was perfect, which really helps when you are running a marathon, and the after-party was also well above average, with hot pasta and free beer.
– Carol Greening from Sarasota, Florida

The race was well-organized, with a spacious start line and plenty of facilities. The course is beautiful, with a combination of coastal running and time on a mixed-use trail. The water stops were plentiful, and the post-race food and swag were good.
-M. P. from District of Columbia 

What an amazing race Chris and Rya! My first marathon and I couldn’t have asked for a better race-directing duo! I will definitely run this each and every year!! Kudos to a job well done!!
– Allison Williams

It was epic!!! I am already planning on 2020! Not one snag. Congratulations on such a great vision and execution, on a shorter prep time. Thank you for getting me back to 26.2 after years! My full support to Rya and you. And I love my medal!!
-Marcia McCormick
Very well-organized and executed race today, Chris RD Lauber and Rya Lauber! Easy to follow course, plenty of water stops, nice start/finish area, and a good place for post-race activities, including awards. Well done…Thanks!
– Gary Saxton
Great run and what a great course too. Love St Petersburg. #10K Another great race put together by Chris RD Lauber! Thanks, Chris you’re the best.
-Rosa Duarte Cuda
Awesome morning to run. Beautiful course and came first in my division. Thanks, Chris RD Lauber for a great inaugural race! Job well done!
-Barbi Anderson-Bozich
Rob and I would like to give a big shout-out to Chris RD Lauber and Rya Lauber for the best 10k we have ever done. The course was so interesting and so much to see. Perfect course, perfect weather, and we loved it. So happy to be a part of the inaugural race. We will be back next year.
-Peggy Lynch Dlugozima
Thrilled to be a part of this inaugural race today! I did not want to miss out. Well done, Chris and Rya! 🙌 Race logistics were spot on, and the course was absolutely beautiful (and VERY accurate). Personally, I had another first. Never in my 20+ years of racing have I missed a start time. This morning I showed up thinking the race started at 7 am (totally my fault) only to realize it started at 6:30 am. I arrived at the race very late 6:22 am, stood in line for one final restroom stop before picking up my race bib, and thought I would have plenty of time to hydrate and stretch before the race start. That is not the case!
Long story short, I started the race several minutes after the race officially started (all by my lonesome…with no hydration, nutrition, or active stretching) and had to spend the first 5 miles weaving through runners to claim my spot with the peeps I usually pace with. I ended up having one of my best races of the season. Perhaps a new approach to race starts?
-Christine Aguiar Valdes
Just finished the St. Petersburg Distance Classic Halfathon this morning. I’ve gotta say, that fancy medal makes those last 2 miles worth it!
-Mark Johnson
As always, a great time at your Sunday race… what a beautiful course!!! The weather was perfect, with so many volunteers and awesome support…. Ainsley’s Angels thank you from the bottom of our Angel hearts!!!!!!! We love you, Chris!!!!!!! Great race!!!!
-Jodi Stoner
What an amazing race!!! I loved every mile of it. I came in 2 minutes faster than last year’s half. I have never been so proud of myself then I was on Sunday! Can’t wait till next year!
-Lauren Deni-King
AMAZING RACE yesterday!! Best EVER. Not kidding! 
-Dawn Mong
Thank you Florida Road Races for a wonderful race this past Sunday! Beautiful course and very well staged! Thank you Rya and Chris for always looking after the best interest of the Athletes; your dedication, hard work, and commitment are very much appreciated! Thank you for the long-lasting memories!
-Pila Cadena
YES, I am pleased and proud to comment here on the 2020 run. ST. Pete is a beautiful city and this course starts and ends right along Tampa Bay and then through a beautiful neighborhood area before lots of miles on a flat out but verrry flat and shaded and no congestion with plenty of aid stations, before returning to a beautiful downtown.
Most impressive to me and this was my 176 marathon run – was the personal attention by Rya – the race director’s wife – who was very helpful and attentive to me during the registration process, and took time to chat and pix with me at 5 am and then again, willing to spend time to hear my stories after the race; then add her daughter Lea who accepted my stupid mistake of losing my bib within the first 10 minutes ‘no problem’ and issuing me another…then to cross and find that the post-race party, with great music, pasta, and free flowing Mich Ultra all made for a great day. The medal and T are also verry nice…Thank you RYA – see you next year!
Jim Miller from Orlando

I had a great time at your race… it was my first 10k and I look forward to running more with you all again.
– Kim Gosselin

It was a fun run on a beautiful course and well organized.
– John Randles

Thank you for a fantastic race Sunday!  Love the course and that the walkers can start early and meet up with people afterward.
– Patty Stockell, Bib 26
I ran in the St. Petersburg marathon last weekend and wanted to provide some feedback.
1 – the weather was amazing!  I traveled from Minnesota, so the weather was perfect and such a treat after running in really cold temps all winter. 🙂
2 – the course was great.  I loved the loop in the first 5 miles.  And running through the city was fun.
3 – the water stations were well-positioned and well staffed.
Overall I really enjoyed the run – and I thank you for hosting it!
– Mary Chepolis
2nd year I completed the 1/2, and everything was better this year…keep up the great work and we’ll see you at future events!
– Frank and Claire Malczyk
You always put on great races and I’m looking forward to next time!
– Mark Bertrand
Thank you for organizing such a beautiful half marathon on February 9.
– Teresa Gibson
Great race today! Very well organized. Thanks and I look forward to your next race!
– Christy Karabetian

Reviews from Our Other Races

This was my first half-marathon and my Ironman cousin from Texas came out to run it with me! We had such a great time! I’m a short-distance triathlete, so I wanted a beautiful, well-organized first 13.1 and this was definitely that! Loved the scenic course (I used that to sell her on coming out here) as it constantly reminded me what I love about living in Florida! All in all, just a great day! Thanks again for the wonderful organization and communication from registration through post-race results! You guys are really a fabulous event group! We do triathlons throughout the year and have done many races – both my cousin and myself commented on how well this was organized and staffed! Thanks again.
– Sara Jo Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, FL

Thank you for a fantastic race this morning! It was one of my favorite half marathons I have ever run. Thank you again for an incredible racing experience.
– Jacki Wachtel, New Port Richey, FL

Great job folks ! Everything was perfect. Don’t change anything. Cheers.
– Christophe Wilhelm, Oldsmar, FL

Congratulations on a well-organized race. Good weather; enough good food/drinks for everyone; great volunteers; excellent traffic control. I know putting on a race is no simple feat–and you did very well. Kudos for a job well done!
– Cathy Detman, Flint. MI

You put on a very well run race. Thank you.
– Drew & Suzy Bergstrom, Shoreview, MN

I drove from Orlando and the race was fun and challenging and you guys had great after race treats. Once again, it was a great race to be a part of. Thank you.
– Nina N. Gibson, Orlando, FL

Thanks for putting on a quality event.
– Steve Williams, Largo, FL

My son, Robert Stewart placed 1st in his age group. The race course was awesome, he really enjoyed it! Thanks!
Karen Stewart, Lutz, FL

Great race today! Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for awards as my ride wanted to leave. It was cold this morning! I won the 1st Grandmaster’s award (sounds so old).
– Gail Norman, Tampa, FL

The race was well-run and adjusted well to the turnout. I plan to be back next year. Thank you.
– Maureen Schauf, Sparta, WI

Thanks for running a great race yesterday! Thanks for everything!
– Seychelle Vos, Berkeley, CA

I have done that race several years now and love it! Great course and great food afterwards. Thanks for your hard work in making it a great day and race for all involved! We appreciate you! Thanks for sending out the plaque too 🙂
– Kim Thomas, Safety Harbor, FL

I participated in the 5-miler event and absolutely enjoyed the scenic challenge! My son and his friend also ran the 5-miler. We had a great time! The weather was perfect and I was so energized I almost went right to do the half-marathon! Everything went so smoothly – lots of parking and fast registration time. The volunteers did a great job, too. Will do this race next year, but will do the half! Thanks!
– Eve J. Barrett, Dunedin, FL

Great job overall. Great course and nice weather yesterday. Great volunteers and nice production. The finish line announcer did a great job. Great race, see you next year.
– Darren D. Farfante, Tampa, FL

I did PR at this event. I look for key things at all marathons and half marathons:
#1 on my list is the award. Yours are great. Only better in my pile are Marine corps, Disney, and Miami. Not sure what you are planning for the full marathon. May be add some color to the full marathon award, like Marine corps did.

Pictures are #2. It looked like the photo shots were placed in good locations. I am not sure without looking at the final product.

Toilets are #3. Lines were not bad so that shows you did a good job.

Food and drink is #4. Another great job. Beer and pasta at the end. And the on route drinks were as much as needed. You may need plans to add a few stations if the weather predicts an unusually hot day.

Parking is always important. Great job. I look at all kinds of other things, and nothing stood out as needing work. This was my first time at your event. Overall it was great. I will be back. Hope for the full next year.
– Steve Young, Crystal River, FL

What an excellent job you guys did!!! I only ran the 5 miles, it was my first time doing this race and I loved it. The organization was terrific. When I saw the length of the line for the chips and t-shirts I was a bid daunted but it moved really rapidly. It was ten minutes tops. The race started on time, and the girl announcing was really good. The pasta was delicious and piping hot (and again, no lines), the beer didn’t go amiss either. Cold beer and hot pasta! It was a great atmosphere, you guys were great, the runners were friendly. Thank you all so much for all your hard work, the volunteers, the organizers, the vendors. I’m starting to feel guilty about just showing up to run and eat! Loved it, can’t wait for the next event.
– Julie Stadjuhar, Zephyrhills, FL

Thanks for a nicely organized race. This was my second year running and I’ve enjoyed it both years. You had a great turnout and I’m always glad to see this many people exposed to our downtown. Perhaps next year we could have some promotion tied with downtown merchants and businesses as well. Let me know if that interests you. Thanks again for a job well done.
– Dave Allbritton, Chairman, Clearwater Downtown Development Board

I am new to this so haven’t run too many races. Love this course and the setup was great. My favorite part was hearing my name as I crossed the finishing line (and she pronounced my name correctly which is rare). That is a nice touch I haven’t seen yet (though I haven’t been in a lot of races). I was hoping to hit it in under 2 hours (missed it by 1 minute 13 seconds…) I will definitely sign up for the Ft. Desoto race. I think I have a better chance of breaking that mark on the flat course. Thanks again for a great race.
– Susan Massarsky, Safety Harbor, FL

This was my first 5k, and I walked in the fitness walk. My friend and I were the last two to finish that walk, and I was very happy to do that. Everything seemed to go well, I was very happy that you had a 5k walk. I just wish that there were more walks and some longer ones to progress to, thanks again for having a walk for those of us that are just starting to get in shape.
– Maurine Jones, Largo, FL

Yesterday’s event was my first half marathon, but not my first race. My husband went with me and ran the 5 miler. Your organization knows how to put on a good race! From the regular email updates to the finish line, the entire event was well organized and executed. We arrived early and got our t-shirts, goody bags, etc. quickly and with no hassle. Bathroom provisions were plentiful. The volunteers were super, friendly and did an excellent job. The course was well marked and accurately measured, according to my Garmin. Your course description was correct. I loved the post-race pasta. It was delicious! Personally, I went into the half having only run 10 miles as my longest distance. I wore shoes that gave me blisters (my own mistake) and spent the last half of the race in pain, alternating between walking and slowly running. Had it not been for my shoes, I would have enjoyed the race more. Lesson learned for next time! I now have a PR that I have to beat. Thank you for a great race event and for caring about our feedback. Regards.
– Ann Wilkinson, New Port Richey, FL

Thank you for a great race yesterday. The event was well-organized, accurately described on your website, and was nice and challenging. And we were blessed with great weather…not too hot and not too cold and not even much wind-unusual for being so near the beach! This was my first half marathon, and I did reach my goal of under 2 hours! Yeah! I am so thankful for my Garmin that helped me pace myself. Thanks again for a great race and for welcoming feedback.
– Jennifer Williams, Brandon, FL

Outstanding organization and planning. The race was great, what a scenic run! Thank you so much! Who would have thought that spaghetti and meatballs would taste so good at 9:00 AM Saturday morning? I’ll see you again at a few more events this year, and back again next year for a repeat.
– Craig Conrad, New Port Richey, FL

Thank you for organizing another great race! Our thanks to you and your volunteers! We appreciate your continuing support of running, fitness, competition and fun. It has been to our benefit and pleasure to be a part of the 10 years you have offered the Gulf Beaches races. Many thanks….to you, your family and to the volunteers who help make it fun for us, the runners. We look forward to seeing you at the March race at Fort DeSoto Park! Glad we had the chance to visit at the Finish. The race was special for both of us.
– Glenn & Leslie Jacobs, New Port Richey, FL

I only have one complaint, your beautiful wife was not at the finish line to hang the starfish around my neck. There is just something about someone putting that starfish medal around your neck as opposed to handing it to you that makes it a little extra rewarding. Other than that it was another outstanding event. And thank you for honoring me with the number 5 bib number for the 5 years I have competed in this event. I figured that because I signed up for the full this year that you may of given the number to someone else. When I opened by envelop and found the number 5 bib number it was obvious why you are a success. You are the master of details. With all the many details of putting this event on to remember such a small thing made an old man’s day. With all my respect,
– Allen Weatherilt, Clearwater, FL

What a beautiful day! My friend and I finally hit our goal of under 2 1/2 hours for our half !! We were psyched, especially since we had forgotten our watches and basically were just having a good time. A couple of Mad Dogs were pacing in front of us and we would drop back and pick up and ended up crossing the finish with them … I knew if we stuck with them we would get our PR … and we did! Thanks for the great experience.
– Lori Mobley, Trinity, FL

Terrific race and very well run. My first time there and really enjoyed things. Congrats to you and your staff/volunteers.
– Diane Duelfer, Basking Ridge, NJ

A big Thank You to you and your team for putting together a great race. The course was very scenic, a great day and venue to run. Thank you also to all the volunteers who make the races a lot easier on us runners. It certainly would not be the same without you. This was our third race of this years series and each race has been challenging and very enjoyable to participate in. Looking forward to getting back to Ft De Soto for the finale. I know more people appreciate your efforts than you hear from so keep up the good work.
– Greg Brown, Lakeland

Awesome race Saturday morning. My son Alex Shirley (16) ran his first 13.1 yesterday along w/ a x-country teammate and father. From Lawrenceville GA. This was a great achievement for my son and the t-shirt meant a lot. I didn’t run (and feel guilty about it) but do plan to return next year and I plan to run. You put on a great event!! Thank You.
– Mike Shirley, Lawrenceville, GA

Great race- beautiful!
– Rachel Foster, Land O Lakes, FL

I would like to share with you my opinions with regards to the race held on January 23rd. First off the venue was absolutely incredible. I could not get over the views and wish I could have stopped to take it all in. The after race food and drink was also something I was very impressed with. There was no shortage of food or drink to help in the re-nourishing of the body.
– Kurt R. Schneider, Cumming, GA

This is a wonderful race you have put together. Organization wise, water stops ,support, everything. You ran out of t-shirts this time but I am guessing because of the amount of people you had this time ,which is great news! This is my second time running it and I just can’t get enough of it, so I am definitely coming back next year for more of those bridges 😉 Thanks to all of those volunteers that did such a wonderful job in a cold, windy morning and especially so early in the morning. Once again, another great race!!
– Miriala Mondeja, Tampa, FL

It was a great race. My second year in a row. Great job as always. Thank you!
– Debra Taylor, St. Petersburg, FL

Sandy Dunn from Oviedo was back again for the THIRD time. As always, the weather and scenic views were awesome. Just like my time, it gets better and better!!!! Thanks to all the police officers and volunteers who worked to kept us safe and well hydrated! You all were great!!!!
– Sandy Dunn, Oviedo, FL

I just wanted to say thank you for the day. It was outstanding and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I lived here. I live in Antigua Guatemala, I just maintain a stateside address. So I bet I came the farthest… It was a great start to my stay here and I thought it was well organized. It was a great route. Love the medal! Thanks again and maybe I’ll see you on the next time I come to Florida to visit family. Blessings.
– Nancy Watkins, St. Petersburg, FL

Great race! We enjoyed all aspects–the scenic course, the size of the field, the helpful police and volunteers, and the post-race festivities. Plus the weather was almost perfect. As far as we’re concerned, it couldn’t have been any better! Thank you.
– Eileen and Charles Glovsky, Sudbury, MA

It was my first time competing in an organized event like this and enjoyed it a lot. Everything was very well organized and well directed. Thanks.
– Mr. Hernandez, Tampa, FL

I appreciate your efforts in putting on a really nice event. You have a very unique venue for a race and it was one of the more challenging half-marathons that I have run. It is also one of the more scenic. You may recall that I was one of the runners whose time did not register on the initial computer printout, and I was concerned about that because I knew that I had won the Grand Masters division. Your volunteers very politely and professionally sorted out the matter and were able to come up with my correct race time. I really enjoyed the course and the event. The food was great and the fellow with the acoustic guitar added to the ambiance. Thanks again for your hard work. It is clear that a lot of thought and planning went into the event. Best regards.
– Tony Black, Tampa, FL

This was my second halfathon, and I enjoyed the race tremendously. I did not PR, but I was not trying to. This was just a training/fun run that was more of an excuse to get out of Chicago for a weekend in January! As far as my impression of the race, it is a lot of fun. The volunteers were great, and I especially enjoy the post-race pasta and beer. That is a real treat. All in all, it is a great race! Thanks.

I loved the run, and I plan to do it again.
– Dave Williams, Seminole, FL

I am writing you a quick email to say thanks for a great race on Saturday. I really enjoyed it. I started to have IT band issues at about mile 7 and struggled for the remainder of the race so not my best half. However, my issues aside, the race was really well organized, great route, and top notch volunteers. Thanks for all of your efforts in making the race such a great one!
– Clare O’Connor, Halifax, NS

Back to cold IL!! I had a wonderful time at your event on Saturday. I flew in with my mother and ran with my cousin. This is the first race my mom was able to see and it was a perfect one as well. Plenty of course support and very well marked. I started with the walker group and did not have a problem following the markings. Finish line food and help were ample even with us coming in toward the end of the pack. The Diet Coke was incredible!! Thanks again for a very well run event.

The Halfathon was a beautiful course to run, and I would consider running again in the future. Overall it was a good experience.
– John Occhiogrosso, Fairview, NJ

Thank you. I had a great time. You couldn’t have asked for better weather and as always, the volunteers were wonderful.
– June Leland, Tampa, FL

Thanks so much for a lovely 5-miler experience! As a jogger from Chicago who enjoys many of the races in the windy city, I was very impressed with the personalized attention to each athlete, and the scenic course. Thanks again!
– Emily Bouchard, Chicago, IL

Thanks for the race..great times! Cheers.
– Eric Schweitzer, Tampa, FL

Thanks for a great race (and conditions!) last Saturday!
– Nola Johnson, Tarpon Springs, FL

Thanks for a great race. Well done!
– Sean M. King, Clearwater, FL

Thank you for putting on another amazing race! This is my 3rd yr running and I enjoy it every time. Its wonderful to see the race grow each year and get more competitive.
– Mike O’Rourke, Largo, FL

Thanks to everyone that helped. The weather was great and a lot of wonderful scenery. I really enjoyed the great post race pasta and other foods. I will see you in March.
– Mike Woods, Holiday, FL

Great race! We loved it. We hope to get back to do it again or maybe one of your other races. Nice to run a flat race for a change of pace. 🙂
– Susan Haymore & Brian Roehsner, Castle Rock, CO

The race was outstanding. Did the 5 miler. Nicely organized. Great volunteers! Plenty of food and drink at the end. Course was beautiful and challenging. Loved the panorama of the bay. First time runner but will DEFINITELY do it again next year, maybe the 1/2!
– Larry Jensen, Redington Beach, FL

I love this race. As a first year participant, and a returning runner who has not done a half in a decade, I was pleasantly pleased with the result. With runners its the little things that stand out e.g., mile markers, water stops, traffic control, post race stuff, etc. This race has been a two year journey that culminated with a very respectable finish. This winter I used this race as a goal in order to improve my running for the upcoming tri season which will conclude this Oct in Miami at the Inaugural 70.3, which is a qualifier for Clearwater 2011. I was inspired by the scenery, the volunteers, the weather, and other runners during this race. many thanks for a superb race.
– Bruce Mann, Clearwater, FL

I also want to thank you for hosting such a wonderful race. I’ve recently taken up running at the age of 51 and this was my first timed race. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Everything was very well organized and the course was both scenic and challenging. Great job and thanks to all of the organizers and volunteers.
– Kurt Gleeson, Indian Shores, FL

The race was amazing. The course was beautiful and 5 miles is a perfect distance for me: challenging but without requiring serious training.
– Erin Conneely, Gainesville, FL

I had a wonderful time running the race and enjoying the festivities afterward. The day could not have been more beautiful. Thank you again for providing such a wonderful running experience.
– Dee Anna Farnell, Belleair, FL

I want to thank all for having such a great event and so well organized.
– Luis Valdes, Tampa, FL

Thanks for organizing another great half! I’ll see you at the next race!
– John Wijnmaalen, Holiday, FL

What a totally awesome 1/2 marathon this morning! This is my 6th 1/2 marathon in 8 weeks and I have to say my FAVORITE!! I will run it every year from now on!!!! Not only did we have perfect weather, the route was absolutely beautiful, the race staff was awesome and very friendly and the post race festivities were great! Thank you so much for a wonderful race!!!!
– Carol Nicholas, Lecanto, FL

The race went so well. Thanks for all your hard work that goes into these races.
– Dona Sergi, Tampa

You put on a great race today. I’ve only been back about 3 weeks from my injury and was not prepared for today, but had fun anyway.
– Anna Rescharv

Thanks for another great race. I participated in my half marathon last month in Madeira Beach. Thank you for all your hard work making it a well organized race. Will be back next year.
– Denise Abramo

I enjoyed running on such a beautiful course. The volunteers were very kind and funny. One of them teased me about not stopping to drink the water. It was very nice of them to come out and share their time with us. Thank you.
– Jenny Cancello, Trinity, FL

Cheers to another wonderful day of running!!! EVERYONE WAS AWESOME!! That’s right Sandy, Marcy, and Lisa from Oviedo made it back again for an annual girl’s run. We all three made better time than last year. Rock on or should I say run run!!!!  The scenic view makes up for all the sweat and tears. Thank you very much and see you all again!
– Sandy Dunn, Oviedo, FL

Thanks so very much for another splendid race experience. While you can’t take credit for the great running weather, you can, and should, for the superb organization, challenging and attractive course and first-rate production (refreshments, volunteers, timing and fast results posting). Thanks for the kind and generous words at the awards table. All the best.
– Don Ardell, St. Petersburg, FL

Thank you. It was a great day for a race!
– Jocelyn Zimmet, Palm Harbor, FL

Finally, finally, finally a race that actually takes advantage of FL’s beautiful coastline. Without a doubt, one of the best scenic races I’ve ever run.
– Mark Gaudio, Valrico, FL

Nice race, as always. Thanks for putting it on.
-Dave Noyes, St. Petersburg, FL

Thanks for a great event as always.
– Jerome Napp, Tarpon Springs, FL

Thanks for another awesome race. I chose to walk to see what walking a half marathon was like in hopes to get my wife out next year. I was able to easily finish within the 4 hour time frame. There were plenty of water, Gatorade and bathroom stops. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Sign me up for next year.
– Allen Weatherilt, Clearwater, FL

Just wanted to let you know how well organized and enjoyable the race was.
– Kevin Barrido, Lutz, FL

The race was great. The food was AWESOME!! Especially the pasta and meatballs. Hope you have the same next year. Thank you so much. I absolutely love your race!
– Sharon Andrews, Tarpon Springs, FL

Great race: beautiful weather, well organized, pretty course. Thanks.
– Patti Hansen, Temple Terrace, FL

We had a blast at the water stop (as always) and hope it helped all the runners. I hope the race overall was a great success for you! I must tell you the pasta was awesome and the guys serving/cooking were such a treat with their attitudes and smiles – was nice at the end! Looking forward to working with you soon.
– Gina Waters, St. Pete Mad Dogs – supporting our athletes at aid stations #2, #3, and #4.

I thought the event was really great. The weather was perfect for it and the post race food was very plentiful. Congrats on another good event. Thanks again and I’m looking forward to next year’s. – Diane Spicer, Tampa, FL

Had a great time at Station #6, it was well staffed with 6 very hard working women! Great race!
– Jeni L. Coticchio, Volunteer

Thank you for a great race; we had a great time.
– Cac Vuong Nguyen, Tampa, FL

Thank you for your kindness and work you are doing with this. I really enjoyed the race you had. Exciting and beautiful.
– Rosalie Smith, Winter Haven, FL

Thank you again for making my annual trip so enjoyable. As always, the volunteers were awesome. Everything from check in to the awards ceremony was in line to make this race one of the best. The weather could not have been more perfect. I especially enjoyed the awards ceremony which gave me a glimpse into your knowledge of the running community. I had not noticed these personal touches in the past. You seemed to know something about everyone and to sincerely congratulate them on their efforts. Imagine how it must impact an 11-year old to be so well recognized with such a personal story. You must be pleased to attract so many out of towners, as well as local superstars. Congratulations!
– June Leland, Tampa, FL

Once again, another great race. I appreciate the fact that us walkers and “slow-pokes” are not only tolerated but encouraged. I don’t know how you did it, but you must have had a direct line to the Big Runner Upstairs-the weather was absolutely perfect!! And the volunteers and law enforcement, as always, did a superlative job. Each time I have done this race, I have met great people. Keep up the good work, keep the beer cold and flowing, and the traffic out of our way. Do these things, and the race will continue to grow. Thank you.
– Bob Petersen, Columbia, SC

I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed running this course. I really appreciate all the hard work you and the volunteers put into running a road race. This was the second time I have run this course and plan on running it again next year. Awesome job on the holiday halfathon too!! Keep up the good work!
– Laurie Meyer, Winter Haven, FL

Congratulations for the event. All was good, except the weather was cold for a Brazilian runner (I’m kidding!). I’m from Brazil on vacation in Florida with my family. I hope to come back in 2 years to run again. Beautiful city, people and course.
– Wilson Carvalho, Sao Paulo, Brazil

I participated in this past weekend’s event! I flew all the way from the suburbs of Cleveland, OH and it was -8 and colder in Cleveland for the weekend. I was happy to be in Florida. The reason I flew to Florida for the event is because I plan to run 12 half marathons in 12 months! I have completed 4 so far. So, you see, I have been a part of many races big and small. I thought over all your race was a good one.  The people I spoke with were all from out of state … they were very friendly. Thank you and happy running!

Based on what I heard and saw on the internet, the races appear to have gone very well. Congrats!! While I was not able to run in either of these races this year, please note that I always look forward to running in your races come every December and January. Thanks again.
– Robert Maue, Clearwater, FL

Thanks Chris–It was a great race.
– Sue Minkoff, Clearwater, FL

Thank you for mailing me my beautiful starfish award. I received it the very next day after your call. It is beautiful and once again is a nice memory of a great race. Your races are always first class and so worth the drive from Tampa. The food, the course, the volunteers, and of course, the starfish are what keep people coming back for more each year. Thanks again and see you next time!
– Claire Keneally, Tampa, FL

Thanks for a scenic race and a wonderful race experience. I really enjoyed it . Course was safe too. I don’t think you could improve anything. Thank you again for a super fun race.
– Elaine Billes, West Bloomfield, MI

I really enjoyed the race… such a beautiful course.
– Michele Maltz, Manchester, CT

I enjoyed the race very much. Beautiful course. The race was well-organized … the beer and pasta at the finish was a real plus. Overall, I thought the race was well done. I am recommending to my fellow runners that they give this race a try, and I will make an effort to return next year.
– Andrew Boyd, Wheaton, IL

I caught (women’s champion) Melanie Peters at about Mile 11, and was ready to drop off. She wouldn’t let me. She encouraged me to keep up, and to kick at the end. She is a true superstar.
– Ron Rashid, Chicago, IL

I loved this race. I can’t think of anything that needs to be improved. Scenic – yes, very! Challenging – yes, but in a very good way. I have previously run the Holiday Halfathon twice which is also a great race. Both of these races are very well run. The volunteers are great, very helpful and enthusiastic. They make all of us runners feel like superstars, but they are the real superstars. At the end is the food and the music and the awards ceremony which helps keep the whole experience very fun (free beer is definitely a plus!). A big thanks out to the announcer with her tireless enthusiasm for everyone from the top 10 runners to the three and a half hour folks. Finally, a big thanks to Chris Lauber, the race director. I can’t imagine how much work it is to put all of this together. He also takes a personal interest in each runner out there. Twice now, he has found my personal running blog and thanked ME for coming out to run at a race where he must have put much more effort than the amount I did – all I did was show up and run and have a good time. Thanks again everyone!
– Mark Palamar, New Port Richey, FL

It was my first halfathon and hope to come back next year. Also, Dean’s post race pasta was delicious. It was a great group of people and nicely well done! Thanks for all the work that everyone put into it!
– Ann Killian Perry, Chicago, IL

The race was GREAT and the photos of the runners are EXCELLENT. Thanks again… both races are worth doing again next year!
– Sandi V. Buell, Seminole, FL

I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know my wife (Michelle) and I had a great time running the 13.1 miles. We were in town from Randallstown, Maryland visiting Michelle’s grandpa and found out about your race in the local paper on Saturday. We drove day of from Springhill to the event and we were glad that we did. The course was well supported, plenty of bathrooms at the start and the finish line food & drink were great. Parking was A+. I am glad that your numbers have grown year to year. Michelle and I have travelled the past 4 Martin Luther Day Weekends. We find it ideal to travel to a Half marathon over the 3 days – especially being from the Cold Weather Maryland. If you want to get even more numbers make sure you advertise it as a destination race over the three day weekend. Best wishes and happy running in 2009.
– Michelle and Michael Albrecht, Randallstown, MD

It was a great race, and the volunteers were all encouraging as I made my run in the 5-Miler – trying not to be last. I am 72 years old and still going. Never say Never. I said this over 30 years ago and now am still out there – going slower, but pushing for the finish line.
– Donna Lea Brown, Charleston, SC

I am so happy that more people showed up especially because of the race on Saturday. I looked at those results – no name runners participated. You got the best of the county. Very enjoyable race and I was fortunate to receive yet another lovely blue starfish medallion. I am guessing the colors were different on 1st and 2nd place. Thanks so much for having the meatball guy – yum – I was careful NOT to pig out this time. You have done a great job with this race and are headed for a promising future. Congrats to you!
– Karen Alexeev, Gulfport, FL

Marathon Feedback

What a day….great job. I don’t know how else to say it. The Brooksville Racewalker checked out of life for 2 days to take in your great event. Wife and I decided at last minute to get a motel room and see some sights …enjoyed every minute…next year we’re going to come over and make 2 days of it before marathon day. Yes…it was windy to the max…yes it was a tad cool….turn down the fan a bit and it was perfection. Your crew was fabulous…you should be quite proud. I even got a chance to get some chow at the end…and it was wonderful. OHHH….big thanks for the plentiful gels and fluids this year…even enough for us 5hr+ folk. Again….Fabulous event….not quite sure yet why I do it…but I’ll be at the line next year. I started DEAD last…only thing behind me was flashing lights.
– Larry Van Fossen, Brooksville FL, Racewalker…5:04:04

Thanks again for a well-run race! For me it is local, but it is worth traveling to. Florida is very pretty this time of year. The weather is unpredictable, but you will never run in snow 🙂 and you will rarely run in rain. There are lots of inexpensive local hotels and plenty to do in this area. The race staff is well-organized, the volunteers (and lots of them) are all very friendly and helpful. The race is relatively small so the pack breaks up within a mile and you can usually get a good time. The race has usually been well-supported. Today we had a lot of wind which made it a challenge, but that’s why we do this, right?
– Tom Wells, St. Petersburg, FL

Thank you for a marathon well done. I appreciated all the small touches.
– Raynard Packer, Akron OH

I thought the volunteers did a great job this year. The police did an excellent job at stopping traffic for the runners. Thank you all for your hard work in putting this race together.
– Louise Shefler, Tampa, FL

Thanks for organizing the race and especially for making each mile clearly marked. I have been a race director for a 8K in Illinois for 24 years so I have some idea how much work it is. To organize a marathon must be very difficult.Thanks again.
– Jeff Leavey, Trinity, FL

Awesome Race! I thought you all staged an awesome race. From the Star Spangled Banner on, Good Job. Traffic control was great, the water/gatorade/orange stops were always ready to go, everything was first class and professional. I would like to thank all of your volunteers and all of the police officers, sheriffs and other public safety folks that lined the route and pointed the way every time, can’t tell you how much that helped me out. I don’t know if you know it, but as I was running along that running/bike trail, I was thinking what a well thought out and beautiful public facility, I wish my home town had the forethought to build something like that for folks that don’t want to drive. All in all, total pro event, I had pleasant thoughts the whole way, Thanks.
– Fritz C. Gottschalk #39, Fayetteville, NC

Thank You to all of the race officials, volunteers, police officers, and everyone behind the scenes who came out on such a cold day to help the race go smoothly. All of your efforts are truly appreciated. Had a great time at the race, really enjoyed the course, and I plan to pass the word about the marathon. Thanks to all once again.
– John West, Tampa, FL

You Did an Awesome job on the race! I think Next Year I will finally end my Marathon Streak There. After 160 or so Marathons, Your Marathon will probably be my last of a long & wonderful run.You Must know this – The reason I am moving down here, It all started with your notion of putting the race on in the first place back in 2000. That was the reason I came to this part of Florida! You have significantly Changed my life for the Better! Many thanks to You.
– Stevy Grande, Sandown, NH … Serving the Running Community Since 1987

Many thanks! Thank you once again for allowing the Country Day Triathlon Team to participate as a relay team. It was quite a positive experience for all 19 of them as they committed to make it to the finish line! As parents, I think it is incredible to see our children take on these challenges. They are the future of the sports that we have tried to popularize to increase health and fitness in our lives. Thanks for contributing to our ongoing efforts. We look forward to the Halfathon and the Marathon again next year!
– Patti Spence, Country Day Triathlon Coach, Belleair, FL

Needless to say the weather played some tricks on us all but, other than that, I only heard good things about the race. As for our water stop, things went pretty smoothly. All the vols were great and pitched right in with enthusiasm. Continued success.
– Ginger McLain, Volunteer, Indian Shores, FL

Congratulations for directing an extremely successful race! From the perspective of the second runner on the relay team, I found the race to be “perfect” in every way. I can’t find anything to criticize. Keep up the excellent work!
– Alan Meyer, Bradenton Running Club, Bradenton, FL

Thanks for a great race. You put on a fine event and I was very pleased to run, particularly since you managed to make the weather so wonderful! I’d been training for a hot weather race (which I usually don’t like) and was delighted with the cold temps and “breezy” conditions. I PR’d on your course — something I NEVER thought would happen. Great race. I can’t believe I enjoyed it like I did. Thanks for putting on a super event! The crew was abundant and helpful and friendly and supportive. The oranges were manna from heaven — every race should have them as frequently as you do. Thanks for all your hard work and a superb day. You rock!
– Deborah McGee, Fredericksburg, VA

As always I liked the volunteers and the course route, all of it, especially the section through Taylor Park. Thank you.
– Greg Kaputa, Tampa, FL

AWESOME! Thanks for all the hard work that went into this windy windy race!! It was a blast regardless of the weather and I wanted to thank all the volunteers and officials for helping out! See you next year!
– Christine Minnix, Gainesville, FL

Thank you all for your efforts in putting together the Marathon; this was an excellent experience. The food and the band at the finish line was great and all of the volunteers did a nice job with the refreshments on the course. You made this a very special day for me and my family. My wife (Mary) ran the 10K and my two daughters (Elisa and Stephanie) volunteered to help at the finish line. Keep up the good work, it is very much appreciated. You are the ones that deserve the Gold Star!
– Mark Baker, Bib #19, Jackson, Michigan

Thank you for a well produced marathon! Though the strong winds were blustery, it made me think that I was back here in OKC!! 🙂 You all did a great job. It also helps that I got a PR! All the water stops were organized, well manned, and had plenty of fluids. It was also nice that the Carb-Boom and fruit hand outs were before the water stops. However, I was not one of the “back-of-the-pack” runners. Cool shirt. The medal is awesome! Several runners in my running group are jealous… 🙂 Thanks again! I had a great time and it was a great race.
– Bill Goodier OKC, OK

I have run many races (all distances) and many marathons (28-29). I know that putting on a race is not easy; putting on a marathon is a tremendous undertaking. The traffic control was excellent; I just can’t praise the volunteers enough–they are wonderful–we runners couldn’t do it without them.There was lots of water, gatorade, etc. on the course; and great food afterwards (and my husband enjoyed the beer). So thank you for everything. Enjoyed running your race. Again, congratulations on doing an excellent job.
– Cathy Detman, Flint, MI

We enjoyed our first marathon. You did a wonderful job in organizing and preparing. There were plenty of fluids, advil, gel and orange slices available. Each mile was also well marked, and the police did an outstanding job of controlling traffic. If only the wind had cooperated it would have been a perfect race! The post race events were also enjoyable. We plan to come back and do it again!
– Don and Cheri Laney, Lacey’s Spring, AL

I thought the race was well organized, pick-up packet was full of “goodies”, and the after race food and drink was outstanding! Also liked the added touch of the concert and race results were done quickly. Course was good and would have like to have run it without so much headwind but that is something all of us runners had to deal with. Congrats to the race directors and volunteers for putting on one of the best marathons I have run! Best regards.
– Randy Mellott, Raleigh, NC

Thanks for a wonderfully organized marathon- The music and all the food at the end, especially the rice and beans were very much appreciated. See you next year!
– Maureen Uhler, Pittsburgh, PA

I was amazed by the fantastic traffic control. It was so much safer than I expected when I previewed the course by bicycle on Friday–I didn’t think it was possible to control that many intersections. Congratulations on getting one lane of Gulfview Blvd closed. That really makes the race, especially for me since my short left leg strongly prefers the right side of the road. The last half also had fantastic aide stations.
– Donna Smyers who is back in Montpelier, Vermont where it is snowing and 0 F.

The race is getting better and better! It’s been a bit hectic back here but even though I told you earlier I just wanted to congratulate you again for organizing such a great event! Every year it just keeps on getting better. This year the most noticeable change for me, was the number of police on the route for traffic control. I don’t think you’ve had as many in the past. The water stations were well manned (womanned) and very organized. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and motivating. They are so much a part of the success of the race. You’ve got a great group working with you. Pass on my thanks to them. Great food and band at the finish line area. And when all was said and done, the wind wasn’t so bad – chilly yes, but it didn’t make a whole lot of difference during the run. (I was going to try to stay until after the awards but I did start to get cold so had to leave to get to warm clothes back at the hotel and a hot shower).
– Sue Faludi, 6-year Veteran from Ontario, Canada

I enjoy doing your marathon every year. This year, there was a great deal of enthusiasm at the water stops among the volunteers. They are to be commended. Thanks for a first class event.
– Jim Schoeneberg, St. Petersburg, FL

Didn’t know anything about your marathon prior to entering, but tell your tremendous volunteers all the way from along the trail to at the end – did a great job! As a cold weather runner, I appreciate the cool day and breeze and protection from wind when we turned on to Pinellas Trail. How DID YOU arrange for that? Best regards.
– Kim Robinson, Portage, MI

I live in Orlando, recently moved here from Austin Texas. This was my 11th marathon, most have been ran in Oklahoma and Texas, a couple out of the area (San Diego, etc). I really enjoyed the race. My time was terrible but I contribute that to lack of preparation on my part and a pretty fierce headwind the last 11 miles. I really enjoyed the course, a nice flat course is always welcome. The small detour in the park was pretty but tough, I would rather see any extra loops at the beginning of the race instead of the end. I really appreciated all the e-mails prior to the race, reminding us of dates, times, weather, etc. I will definitely give the race a thumbs up and recommend it to others. Hopefully next year the weather might cooperate and I will be better prepared and can set a PR. Thanks.
– Michael Potter, Lake Mary, FL

I think you did a fantastic job. I have run 68 marathons and none have been the same. Also since I usually take 5+ plus hours to finish, Mother Nature can put on a complete cycle of weather patterns. Anyway, GREAT job and I will try to get back again. Good luck with your future marathons.
– Cheryl Murdock, Pensacola, FL

Just wanted to drop you a note about the race and let you know how much I appreciate the time and efforts of you and your volunteers in making this race a reality. I really appreciate the excellent traffic support. The officers do a very good job of monitoring the intersections and making sure that any cars do not get in the runners’ way. The volunteers deserve lots of praise. They did a great job of making fluids available and letting me know in advance where the Gatorade and water could be found. Overall, I enjoyed the race, and hope to be back. Thanks for all of your work in putting on a fun race!
– John Hnat, Strongsville, OH

Just wanted to let you know that all went well at the Park Blvd. turn around point. Good co-operation from everyone, especially Officer Jon Wiseman of the Indian Shores PD. The runners were very positive and seemed to be enjoying the challenge, despite the wind. Good Job!!!
– Jim McAvaddy, Volunteer, Redington Shores, FL
“Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try… It means that you should just try harder!”


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We're located in the beautiful Tampa Bay area, with races in St. Petersburg, Fort DeSoto Park, and Madeira Beach to Largo.

“Thanks so very much for another splendid race experience. While you can’t take credit for the great running weather, you can, and should, for the superb organization, challenging and attractive course and first-rate production (refreshments, volunteers, timing and fast results posting). Thanks for the kind and generous words at the awards table. All the best.”
– Don Ardell, St. Petersburg, FL

Our 2024-25 Season

Fort De Soto Distance Classic
15K, 10K, 5K & Virtual

Sunday, September 15, 2024
Fort De Soto Park