SARASOTA - This Sunday the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon will begin at 7am from the Van Wezel parking lot. ABC 7 caught up with some runners to get a feel for this year's race -- and one of them may even look familiar.
Well over 2,000 runners are expected to take part in the 8th annual race; a race that never fails to show off the beauty of the Suncoast.
"I like that we go over the bridge, I like running along the waterfront and out by Ca’ d’Zan is nice…it’s just a fun experience, fun," says Charlie Roediger. He and Linda Bayne are tri-athletes with the Sarasota Storm Tri Club, so this run for them is merely a Sunday jog, but a very fast jog. “This is a training run for me...well, actually a half marathon is the distance that I love to run more than anything else, but I’ve trained for marathons," says Bayne.
Whereas Linda and Charlie run and compete in many races, for ABC 7's own Hayley Wielgus, Sunday’s race will be her first half-marathon. "I have always been nervous before a big swim meet, and this is kind of the same with the race. I am very nervous and I anticipate that this weekend I will be even more nervous. But I am very excited, and I think I'm ready."
The weather is expected to be perfect for the Sunday run, and all of the runners agree it will be an uplifting experience, both for the runners and the area. “Just doing 13 miles is pretty special. You get that runner's high," says Roediger.
"I like the half marathon distance. That's enough. Enough to feel it, and short enough to be able to do the training for it," says Bayne.
The race begins at 7am Sunday. Runners will begin at the Van Wezel parking lot, head out to St. Armands and back, then head north on Tamiami Trail up to the Ringling Museum and return south through the neighborhoods west of the Trail back to the Van Wezel.
Drivers can expect traffic lanes on North Tamiami Trail and the John Ringling Causeway to be reduced to during the race.