Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Women's Running magazine brings new half-marathon to Tampa Bay area

ST. PETERSBURG — Costa Rican 2008 Olympian Gabriela Traña ran the marathon in Beijing, but she wished the distance would have been a tad shorter — by half, to be exact.

"A full marathon is very tough," said Traña, 29, who hopes to establish a hard-to-equal course record at Sunday's inaugural Women's Running magazine Women's Half Marathon. "This distance is fast, fun, easier to train for."

Traña, who won the 2007 Walt Disney World Marathon, is so keen on the 13.1-mile distance that she has been targeting races around the country.

"I think you will see more and more half-marathons in coming years," said Traña, who set a course record at the Frederick (Md.) Half Marathon in May. "And I think you will see more women running these races as well."

Dawna Stone, publisher of Women's Running, said she knew a "halfathon" would be the right race for St. Petersburg.

"It is the hot distance," said Stone, a 41-year-old mother of two. "Half-marathons are exploding in popularity all around the country."

A realistic challenge

The number of half-marathons in Pinellas County has doubled in the past year. The 2008-09 season had three 13.1-mile races. This running season — a season typically runs from late October through April — has six.

"Nationally, the single biggest growth area is the half-marathon," said St. Petersburg's Chris Lauber, who produces three local half-marathons.

"We get runners on their way up as they train for a marathon, and then we get runners on their way back down as they back off the high mileage required to complete a full 26.2-mile race."

Though many runners aspire to run a marathon, only a small percentage can continue to run marathons year after year.

"I think the half-marathon is a more doable distance," said Lauber, who also organizes the Gulf Beaches Marathon each January.

"It is long enough to give you a real feeling of accomplishment, yet not too long that you have to deal with chronic overuse injuries."

National trend

Ryan Lamppa, media director of Running USA, a group that promotes road racing, said he expects the number of half-marathons in the United States to continue to grow.

"A lot of people use the half-marathon as a training run," Lamppa said. "Most organized training programs specifically state that you should complete at least one organized half-marathon before attempting a marathon.

"It is a fitness test. If you are planning to do a marathon in four to six weeks, it is a great way to know if you are ready."

But the half-marathon has become the ultimate goal for many runners.

Team in Training, the fundraising arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, will have more than 400 runners in Sunday's field, which may number more than 4,000.

Many are first-timers who hope to raise more than $1 million for research.

. fast facts

Women's Half Marathon & 5K

When: 7:30 a.m. Sunday

Start/finish: Mahaffey Theater/Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg

Course: Along the waterfront, with a loop inside Tropicana Field

Expo: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today , Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. Free and open to the public.

Registration: Runners can register today at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg.

Information: womenshalfmarathon.com.

Women's Running magazine brings new half-marathon to Tampa Bay area 11/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 10:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Orioles, 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    Sports

    Today: vs. Orioles

    12:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead U.S. soccer

    Soccer

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

    Among some other unmentionables.

    Bruce Arena
  3. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  4. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP

    Blogs

    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  5. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.