Best Damn Race, Safety Harbor, Florida: Feb. 1, 2014 {recap}

So, I may have complained a time or 50 that I’m struggling with running right now (well, and the last four months). Going into the Best Damn Race on Feb. 1, I was just hoping to not be miserable running the 10K.

I went into it with some confidence because my last run (on Thursday) before the race (on Saturday) rocked. I ran 4 solid, nonstop miles. And, I felt like I could have run 4 more. It was just a fun run in a beautiful place chatting with a running pal, and it was just how it should be (and how it used be).

I hoped maybe just maybe it could carry over into Saturday.

And … it kind of did. But, it kind of didn’t.

I don’t need to share a recap of my race. There was nothing spectacular or absolutely horrible about it. I came, I ran. It wasn’t my best 10K, but it wasn’t my worst. And, at this point in my running career, I consider this a huge victory.

My time: 1:15:35. My time last year at this race when I was “taking it easy:” 1:13:16.

Yes, it’s frustrating, but that’s what it is right now. I just need to get out of this funk.

Since this was my second year running this race, I obviously like it. Why?

  • It’s in a beautiful location. The race is set along Tampa Bay in Safety Harbor. The course has beautiful views throughout.
  • It’s just a fun race. It’s a fun atmosphere.
  • I always know lots of people running this race, and it’s great to see so many friends.
    group 2013


    group 2014


  • The medals rock! (It’s a bottle opener.)
  • Parking is easy (I’ve run the 10K both years, which is the first race, so this could be why. But, I never heard complaints about parking).

I knew there were a few issues this year. What?

  • They didn’t have shirts available for the first day of packet pickup.
  • The 10K was delayed by about 20 minutes. This delayed the other races (half marathon and 5K).
  • They ran out of 10K medals.
  • The beer line got pretty long.
  • They ran low/short on food.

Did these issues bother me?

  • It was a little inconvenient to pick up my shirt on race day (and the line was a little long), but I got the size I needed in a somewhat reasonable time.
  • Yes, the race was delayed. This didn’t really bother me, and I realize it can be out of the race director’s hands. A little irritating, but not the end of the world to me.
  • I got a 10K medal, so this didn’t affect me, but I can understand being upset to not have something to show for your efforts.
  • I wait for beer.
  • The food issue didn’t affect me, but it would be irritating.

I think anyone affected by these issues would appreciate the race director’s response. Why?

  • He came out and admitted the issues quickly after the race. Just admitting wrong and not passing the blame or pretending like it didn’t happen is a huge deal to me.
  • In an email sent out a few days after the race, he apologized and noted his efforts to remedy the situations (sending medals to the 10Kers, finding a different shirt vendor, looking at a new beer setup, evaluating the food situation).

Will I continue to run this race? Yes! It’s a favorite local race of mine. Maybe even the best damn one.

Did you run the Best Damn Race? What did you think?


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3 responses to “Best Damn Race, Safety Harbor, Florida: Feb. 1, 2014 {recap}

  1. It stinks I missed you! Congrats on your race!! It was a fun one!

  2. Ally

    It sounds like a good race. Awesome medals! I have ran a mess that was terribly organized. It was a mud run that didn’t have showers or beer as promised at the end. It was a rough experience and I would not sign up for another run like that again. The worst part is the issues not being addressed which meant that after that year the race ended.

    Race coordinators have to address the issues or risk not having another race again.

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