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Tampa's Gasparilla Distance Classic to go virtual this year

Event organizers say the race is still on but some notable changes have been made.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
Gasparilla Distance Classic

TAMPA, Fla — Off the heels of last week's major announcement that Tampa Bay's Gasparilla parades would be canceled this year, organizers for the annual Gasparilla Distance Classic announced their event would be going virtual.

During a Facebook Live, the event's organizers Monday night said the race was still on but there would be some notable changes.

For starters, the city of Tampa will still block off Bayshore Boulevard from 5 a.m. to noon on May 8 and 9 but only registered runners will be allowed on the premises. There will also be no hydration station to avoid any unnecessary contact. Instead, runners will be required to bring their own water.

Different routes will be created depending on the type of race runners registered for. And, when once runners cross the virtual finish line, they'll be required to log their information into the Asics Runkeeper app.

Organizers said no refunds would be given because the money given toward the event had already been spent on items like shirts and medals.

The Distance Classic seems to be the one traditional Gasparilla event that will endure the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Tampa's signature Gasparilla parades were canceled altogether after being postponed until April 10 and 17. That included the Knight Parade.

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