Tag Archives: Al Lopez Park

Race of the Week: MADD Dash 5K

By Pete Williams

Racing at Al Lopez

This is the first weekend of the endurance sports season and Floridians have no shortage of high-profile options, including the Disney Marathon at Lake Buena Vista, the Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West, and the new HITS Triathlon in Naples.

For those wanting an easier transition into 2012, there’s the MADD Dash 5K at Tampa’s Al Lopez Park. Organized by Tampa running guru Lynn Gray, it’s a fast course that likely will be run in ideal race conditions. (Think 58 degrees or so.)

Gray, who has completed 93 marathons, has introduced thousands to the joys of long-distance running over the years, most recently through her Take the First Step Program. She joined us this week on The Fitness Buff Show to discuss the MADD Dash and tips on making 2012 your best year yet as a runner. You can listen to that broadcast HERE.

Name of Race: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Dash 5K – A Resolution Run

When: Saturday, January 7, 8 a.m.

Where: Al Lopez Park, Tampa

History: This is a 10th annual event

Format: 5K, plus a 1-mile kids fun run

Amenities: Long sleeve t-shirts and goodie bags for the first 300 registered runners. Trophies for overall winners, along with masters/grandmasters/and high school winners, along with standard 5-year age groups (9 and under through 80-plus)

Projected Turnout: 300-plus

Cost: $25 for the 5K or $10 for the fun run

Sign-Up: Race day registration available

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Filed under Fitness Buff Show Radio, Race of the Week, Races, Running

Springing into Summer

By Pete Williams

Midway point of Spring into Summer 5K

TAMPA – The eighth-annual Spring into Summer drew a crowd of more than 500 (just my unofficial guesstimate) to Al Lopez Park this morning.

Lynn Gray and the Take the First Step Club do a terrific job and always provide a slew of raffle prizes. This year’s take included gift cards to four local running stores. Local runner/triathlete Eric Hall won the overall with a time of 16:50.

Random thought: I counted three fitness boot camps going on at Al Lopez Park and two more along the Courtney Campbell Causeway on the drive home. Great to see people committing to fitness programs, especially on a Saturday morning, but at what point will we jump the shark in the boot camp category? Apparently we’re not yet at the saturation point.

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Race of the Week: Spring into Summer 5K

By Pete Williams

Running at Al Lopez Park

Lynn Gray is a one-woman running conglomerate in the Tampa Bay area. An accomplished age-group runner of all distances, she’s mentored countless runners through her Take the First Step Club. She’s also an author, triathlete, featured trainer in The St. Petersburg Times, and part of the team behind the upcoming Spring into Summer 5K.

The race, which takes place at Tampa’s Al Lopez Park on Saturday, June 4 at 8 a.m., is known for it’s many raffle prizes and large turnout, especially among women. It’s a popular first-time 5K, though many return year after year to do a fast course with a great post-race party.

We spoke with Gray about running and the race this week on The Fitness Buff Show.

Name of Race: Spring into Summer 5K

History: Eighth-annual event

Format: One loop course through shady Al Lopez Park, located near Raymond James Stadium and Jesuit High School in Tampa. Also a one-mile Kids Fun Run.

Amenities: T-shirts, post-race food, raffles, 3-deep age-group awards

Signature Features: Numerous raffle prizes, including donations from multiple Tampa Bay area running stores. “A lot of people are going to go home with something,” Gray says.

Projected Turnout: 350-plus

Cost: $25 for 5K; $10 for Kids Fun Run

Sign-Up: Via Active.com or download a printable copy HERE

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Filed under Fitness Buff Show Radio, Race of the Week, Races, Running