Florida 10 is a series that launched in Florida in 2014 with the goal to host events in multiple cities (10 total, hence the name) across the state. This year, they hosted events in Lakeland and Sarasota.
First off, they had me at hello when they said “Registration Bonanza Pricing.” I like a challenge, so my goal was to get in for $5 and my daughter in for $1.
Was I confident in my abilities to run a 5-miler at the time that I registered? Heck no, but there was no way that I was turning down a $5 race. Nope.
Early registrants not only get the usual goodies (t-shirt & finisher’s medal), but they also would receive a free hat or visor (perfect for running in the Florida sun). Again- not. equipped. to turn down free things.
Packet pickup was only available in Lakeland, which for me was a one hour drive that I wasn’t willing to make. So, I picked up my packet on race day.
Parking was kind of a free for all. People parked along the street to one side and then when that ran out, people just drove up onto the median that separated the different directions of traffic and parked there. I mean… there aren’t really any businesses or structures out there, so- where would you park? It was fine. My husband was able to create a parking spot and walk down to the start with no issues.
Potties were plentiful before the race. They even had a hand washing station, which THANK YOU.
The course didn’t really offer anything to sing home about. There was road, road, and more road. If you’re okay with that, then this race would be perfect for you! It takes place on the roads right outside of Florida Polytechnic and really, there’s nothing to see out there. The bugs are PLENTIFUL and weren’t playin’ any games out there, so I would highly recommend some bug spray (and sunscreen as there isn’t really any shade). Lucky for me someone left their can of bug spray on the ground- because sharing is caring- and I was able to protect myself. The entire loop is 5 miles and so people running the 10-miler (obviously) went around twice. Click here to check out the course map & elevation.
I didn’t really see any first aid stations on the course, so if you’re planning on getting hurt- don’t. There was, though, plenty of water and gatorade to go around and in this heat, I definitely felt like I needed it.
The medal is beautiful. Seriously. I love the inscription on the back describing the significance of the swans in Lakeland. I can’t really say anything else besides L-O-V-E.
Upon crossing the finish line, runners could go to a station with netbooks setup to check their official finish time, which- love. Thank you. They also had tables and chairs setup so that you could sit down and relax. The problem? Is that it was 8 million degrees out and so you’re basically sitting in the direct sunlight with no shade. Why was I still there you ask? Well, since I had signed Pea up for the kids’ run, we had to hang around and wait for it to begin. Anyway, I would’ve loved tents over the tables, but I also hate sitting in the sun and understand that tents would’ve cost race directors a pretty penny. (So, basically ignore me)
My husband thought maybe they should’ve done the kids’ run first so that the children weren’t running in that overbearing heat, I’m not sure what would’ve been best. I’ve seen races do all kinds of things- have the children run first (but then they have to wait for you), have the children run after (they still have to wait for you), and I’ve even done races where the children ran on a separate day (inconvenience? I don’t know). What do you think about kids’ runs? Before? After?
Post-Race food was decent- they had muffins, bananas, water, and soda. There were also breakfast burritos from McDonald’s, though they came late.
Florida 10 offers a whole slew of awards and prizes, the most notable to me being the raffle. Every finisher is eligible to win money. Finishers of the 5-miler could win $50, 5 times. Finishers of the 10-miler could win $100, 10 times and 1 child could walk away with $100. Pretty sweet, huh? (No, I didn’t win- boo!)
To put a cherry on top, finishers were able to receive 1 free photo once they were released. Hell. Yeah. I don’t usually buy race photos because they either don’t look great or they cost more than I’d like to spend, but a free photo? I’ll take it.
I enjoyed myself and would definitely run this one again. I wish I was available for their Sarasota race this year, but- there’s always next year. Oh? and I PRed at this race. BOOYAH!
Distance: 5 miles
Finish Time: 01:03:06