Florda 10 Series – Lakeland

October 19, 2014

I found the Florida Ten Series thanks to targeted ads on Facebook (maybe). I noticed that the Florida Ten Series’ first race was going to be in Lakeland; not far from me; so I did a little research on them. They are a Texas based race series and they are expanding into Florida. There weren’t a lot of comments or reviews but the entry fee was fairly low, they offered a free race photo to participants, and the race was nearby, so I signed up.

I picked up my race packet on Saturday at my favorite running store,FitNiche. Included with my race entry, I get my bib, a race t-shirt, and either a hat, visor, or socks. I chose the blue visor and it’s really nice. I also like the race t-shirt. It’s a tech shirt and it is really soft; like my favorite old blue jeans soft.

The shirt and visor for the Florida 10 Lakeland race. The shirt is so soft and the visor is really comfortable to wear.

The shirt and visor for the Florida 10 Lakeland race. The shirt is so soft and the visor is really comfortable to wear.

It’s a cool but humid morning. I leave my house a bit early because I’m not sure of the area where I will be running. The race is near the Florida Polytechnic University campus and I have no idea where that is. I get on the Polk Parkway to head towards Lakeland and Waze tells me to get off and turn around. I really have no idea where I’m going and now I’m going the wrong way!

I finally make it to the race site and cars are being directed to just park along the side of the road. I pull in the grass along the roadside and I feel like my car sinks in a little. I hope this doesn’t mean that I am going to be stuck when I try to leave later. Oh well, I have no time to worry about this. I need to use the porta potty before we start so I get my gear and get moving. It’s cool but comfortable. The humidity is thick; you can feel the moisture in the air.

As I’m waiting for the porta potty, I feel the mosquitoes and the “no see ’ems” biting. I keep swatting and trying to keep moving so I won’t get bitten. I’m standing in the middle of the road rather than in the grass trying to stay out of the areas where they are the worst yet they seem to be following me. I can’t keep them away from me and I’m wishing for a little bug spray!

We’re finally instructed to line up and I am thankful to be starting. Perhaps I can at least outrun the bugs! The sun isn’t quite up yet but it is starting to make it’s way into the sky as we’re sent on our way.

The course map for the Florida 10 Lakeland race. It's a two loop course.

The course map for the Florida 10 Lakeland race. It’s a two loop course.

I finish the first loop in under an hour. I am very happy about this. My goal is to finish in less than two hours. I am averaging about 11:20 per mile. The sun is coming up and it is getting very hot so I will likely start to slow a bit. I am running 1/1 intervals and I feel good so I’ll keep pushing. I’m kinda wishing I had that race visor right about now. But, I don’t really like running in hats or even sunglasses.

I am still feeling good through the next three miles. I’m keeping around the 11:25 minute per mile pace. But, as I get to mile eight, I just run out of energy. I’m hot and running for a minute feels like I’m running for ten minutes. I push as much as I can but, for the last three miles, my average pace is about 12:40 per mile.

I finished in 1:58:27. I stayed under two hours so I achieved my goal. I’m a wee bit disappointed that I ran out of energy in the last couple of miles but I pleased overall.

I selected this as my free race photo simply because my hair makes me giggle. And, yes, my phone is in my shirt.

I selected this as my free race photo simply because my hair makes me giggle. And, yes, my phone is in my shirt.

I get some water and my medal and then head to the food table to get some refreshments. All runners get to drop their number (a tear-off tag on your bib) into the drawing. This race has some awesome giveaways! They are drawing for cash prizes after the awards are handed out.

The finisher's medal for the Florida 10 Lakeland race.

The finisher’s medal for the Florida 10 Lakeland race.

The refreshments were great. There was fruit; grapes, bananas; soda and water, granola bars, muffins, and all sorts of snacks to choose from. I am happy to have some fruit; it tastes delicious and is very refreshing. The coke I am drinking; and I NEVER drink regular coke; is the best coke ever at the time. It tasted sooooo good!

While I am eating, the final few runners are coming into the finish line. The race announcer was amazing. He did his homework and tried to know at least a little blurb about each runner. I don’t know how he did at the beginning but he said everyone’s name as they crossed after me; he said mine also though I don’t know if he said anything about me. I do know that he said my name correctly which about made me stop and cheer for him!

I didn’t win any cash or prizes in the giveaway. But, I had a great time at the race. The course was very well supported and the race director and announcers were great! I would recommend this race to anyone and I will likely run one of their other races in Florida; they have a Sarasota race and they’re hoping to add other race sites. The participant perks were great (a shirt AND a visor) and the medals were really nice to boot. You can’t beat that in my shoes.

Florida 10 costs

Registration: ~$22
Gas/Tolls: ~$15
Food: ~$10
Total: ~$47

Until the next race…gotta run!

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