The eighth annual Shark Bite Half Marathon and 5K weekend took place on January 14 and 15, 2023. It was my third time participating; I ran the Shark Bite 5K in 2019 and the 5K Challenge in 2020. I also participated in 2021 when Shark Bite went virtual. This fun and popular event happens in the shark bite capital of the world: New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The event consists of a the Feeding Frenzy 5K on Saturday evening, and the Shark Bite Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday morning.
Training & Goals
My knees continue to be a big problem, with pain hindering any progress I try to make in getting back into running. Regular steroid shots lose their effectiveness before I'm eligible to get a new one and they take longer to provide any relief. So it's not great. But I keep trying. I hadn't run at all since last week's WDW 5K.
When reading through my personal recap of the events in 2020, I saw that I ran short 45:30 intervals. For this year's events, I decided to run 45:45 for the Feeding Frenzy Saturday evening, and mostly walk the Shark Bite 5K on Sunday.
Feeding Frenzy 5K
Race Day: January 14, 2023
I left home around 3PM and found a spot to park just off of Flagler Avenue. Packet pickup was smooth and I had plenty of time to drop off my stuff back at the car and use a portapotty before the race began. It was a pleasant 52°F with 43% humidity and clear skies when I started running at 5:03PM.
Mile 1: 13:47
This event had a new course which was a simple out-and-back down Flagler Avenue and Riverside Drive along the Indian River.
I know this is a very slow pace but I was surprised I could move this fast, considering my lack of workouts of late. I felt pretty good.
Mile 2: 13:29
I liked this course. Running along the river and looking at all of the nice homes and watching for birds distracted me. I was able to run all of my intervals pretty consistently.
Mile 3+: 13:45, 1:43
For these fun shark-themed races, it's always a lot of fun to see all the folks running in shark-themed gear. Someone running in a full Hammerhead Shark costume had me laughing.
After the Race
This evening event wrapped up shortly after the race was complete, and I headed out, though I know many participants stayed to enjoy the bars and restaurants in downtown New Smyrna Beach.
Chip time: 42:41
Placement details: 32 out of 51 in my age group; 369th out of 516 finishers
Shark Bite 5K
Race Day: January 15, 2023
I left home at 5:53AM. I knew it would be tough to find parking so I wanted to arrive early. I found a spot off of Flagler Avenue about a half mile from the start. I stayed in the car to keep warm before heading out at around 7AM. I said hi to some club mates, posed for the group photo, and watched the half marathoners start at 7:30AM.
For this race it was my turn to wear a funny outfit -- a hooded shark dress I bought from Ali Express a few months ago. It was cold so I layered this over three long sleeve shirts and full length leggings. A hat and shark-pattern buff helped keep me warm.
It was a chilly 36°F with 87% humidity and sunny skies when my race started at 7:43AM.
Mile 1: 15:19
My plan was to walk this mile. I jogged a little bit here and there when the course was congested and I wansn't able to walk my desired pace.
Mile 2: 14:37
I did a slow 45:45 run:walk for most of this mile. The water stop was towards the end of the mile and I started walking when I got a cup so I didn't quite run the whole second mile.
Mile 3+: 15:48, 2:21
I walked this mile, too. It was fun to wear this ridiculous outfit. I got some compliments and made others laugh. Good times.
The after party for Shark Bite is consistently pretty awesome. There's lots of treats for the runners, free beer, vendors with swag. Unfortunately there was no mechanical shark this year. I didn't linger -- it was cold!
Chip time: 48:01
Placement details: 33 out of 44 in my age group; 463rd out of 612 finishers.
Great swag and a smooth operation. You can't ask for more. Highly recommended.
Race Amenities for 5K Challenge: Runners got a nice soft cotton unisex shirt for each race, a big finisher medal for both races, plus a large challenge medal. I got last year's pint glass after the Feeding Frenzy and a new pint glass on Sunday morning. There is a finisher hat for top 10% half marathon runners, plus free race photos. Great support and after party with free beer and treats.
Cost: $85.14 for the two 5K challenge
Branded photos (c) Almost There Photography