St. Pete Beach Classic 10K and 5K

*Editor's Note: This is an event preview for the sixth annual St. Pete Beach Classic 10k and 5k held January 2009 and refers to the event details and descriptions from that year.

Warm Gulf breezes, beautiful white sand, gentle sounds of the surf and classic 5K and 10K courses are yours. What else could a runner want in a weekend getaway? Hosted by the Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach, this event has set a standard for area road races. The competitive 10K and 5K races are complemented by a 1 mile Fun Run and age-appropriate kids' races. A two day Health and Fitness Expo is also included wrapped around a community Beach Party and bonfire the night before the races.

This is an absolutely "can't miss it" event! Enjoy the magical confluence of warm weather, spectacular sunsets, welcoming swaths of clear Gulf water lapping at white sand backed by fabulous restaurants, casual beachside resorts, fine hotels and plenty of waterside amenities. Catch the lively vibe of St. Pete Beach Florida known for its diverse array of natural settings and waterside activities.

It is no wonder that St. Pete Beach, located in Pinellas County, is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Sunshine State. Pinellas County is a peninsula with Tampa Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Its location, adjacent to Tampa, but with the benefit of long and wonderful world class beaches, makes it an ideal base for an inviting Gulf Coast adventure. Your adventure may very well include taking in the nearby Florida Aquarium or Busch Gardens, and it is only 90 miles from Disney World.

What a great opportunity to enjoy all the sights and pleasures of the sun-kissed Tampa--St. Petersburg region. Whether it is world class shopping, museums, deep sea fishing, golf, dolphin watch cruises or art galleries and festivals-there is something for every member of the family. This great escape is a welcome break from the ice and snow of the northern winter. The timing during the Martin Luther King weekend couldn't be better.

Sun, Fun, Run

The pre race and post race events are hosted by the lovely Sirata Beach Resort, one of St. Pete Beach's finest resort hotels. The hotel and resort features three sparkling pools, whirlpools, fitness center, a variety of guest rooms, and access to the sugar-white sands of the Gulf beach, as well as terrific dining and entertainment options: The famous Compass Grille, unique Rum Runners, a local favorite, Harry's, as well as the comfortable Lobby Lounge. The Sirita Beach Resort is in the midst of more than 50 outstanding dining opportunities up and down the beach. Sirata Beach Resort, 5300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706.

Health and Fitness Expo Friday January 16

The fun gets underway Friday, January 16, with the Health and Fitness Expo starting at noon. Various activities focused on supporting health and wellness will occur during this event, including samples of healthy foods, fitness demonstrations and other tools to encourage people to take part in a healthy and active lifestyle.

Beach Bonfire Friday January 16

The festivities continue with a Beach Bonfire starting at a 7 p.m. Friday. The beach party, which is free and open to the public features live music, fun beverages and more. The beach is directly behind the Sirata Beach Resort. Both hotel restaurants, The Rum Runners and Compass Grill, will be open for your convenience and enjoyment.

Post Race Pool Party and Awards Saturday January 17

For the most fun under the sun be sure to stick around for a fantastic post race party that is brimming with good cheer, music and an assortment of sumptuous food brought to you by the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant. You won't see a better post-race spread of food! Highlights of the party include cool beverages, live music from Sound Wave and beautiful original artwork awards from Bill Castleman. There will also be prizes galore including restaurant gift certificates, travel prizes, beach weekends and more.

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