We all know that it’s definitely not too soon to begin planning that 2015 race calendar!
Although, I wasn’t planning a May 70.3 race, I’ve managed to go ahead and commit to one anyway… because it was just too perfect. I couldn’t resist a race that promises a family-friendly, destination 70.3 option with a “rockin’ beach party attitude.” Everyone knows I love a party.
Coach Brett Daniels and I are signed up for one of his favorite races, the 33rd Annual Gulf Coast Triathlon (70.3 and Sprint) which bills itself as the country’s oldest non-for-profit 70.3 distance races.
Yes, we know that a race day of May 9, 2015 lands on Mother’s Day weekend–but that makes it a GREAT destination race–staged at a breathtaking resort that includes a plethora of family-friendly activities! Perfect! [Although, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m toying with the idea of making this a Mother’s Day GIRLS WEEKEND trip instead because, sometimes, it just needs to be about the girls and the pool and the pina coladas. Ah-hem. I mean… family friendly!!]
Check out this video posted by the race director featured the new venue and the fabulous beachfront location:
What’s better than that?
So, let’s talk about this course and why it’s a great race to try. First, I am going to be there… did I mention that? (heh heh!). Okay, so it’s a Gulf swim which can be scary, but the swim has only been cancelled for poor conditions ONCE in 33 years so it can’t be that bad.
Race officials will be offering at least two supported practice swims on the day before the race and it’s typically wetsuit-legal. It’s very well-supported with kayaks, swimmers and divers from local swim teams and a neighboring Navy Base (can you say Navy divers!?) …and it always well-marked.
The bike is flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. One bridge, about ½ mile over and back, and that’s it. The course features plenty of aid stations, manned by awesome local volunteers and student athletes, an experienced team of race officials and draft marshals (read no drafting) and well-maintained roads.
The run is also pretty flat (this is the Panhandle of Florida afterall), and goes through several residential neighborhoods. Expect plenty of spectators and neighbors to cheer you on along with well-stocked aid stations every mile.
And afterwards … a beach-front, rockin’ awards ceremony/party/celebration like you never seen before replete with race-day video footage and all of the “war stories” you ever wanted to hear.
In short, it sounds like a blast!
New for this year are the two supported swims the day before, three options for a pre-race meeting, a two-day expo featuring a booth for yours truly, a triathlon/transition clinic offered by yours truly and Coach Brett and a “mommy and me” splash-n-dash on the Sunday after the race. This community of Panama City Beach also hosts Ironman Florida and is accustomed to catering to athletes so look for lodging, dining and shopping specials and discounts to be posted on their website and Facebook page.
How about some free race entries?
All you have to do to be entered to win a free race entry is head on over to the Gulf Coast Triathlon’s Facebook Page and “follow” them, then use the widget below to follow them on twitter at @gulfcoasttri and tweet using hashtag #beachtrilife. Gulf Coast will be giving away TWO free 70.3 race entries between now and the end of the month as well as other race-related goodies so get busy following, friending, tweeting and hashtagging.
Sign Up Now!
But you don’t have to wait for a free entry to sign up because the race is limited to 1,200 participants and has sold out in the past.
You can sign up today and save $50 at Active.com!
So let’s make a splash on Mother’s Day weekend, Army members … if there ever was a race for Swim Bike Moms it has to be a beachfront, destination 70.3 on Mother’s Day weekend … I can almost taste the post-race poolside pina colada’s from here!