When 30,000 competitors considered what distance to run in this weekend’s Gasparilla Distance Classic, they had five choices: traditional or stroller-friendly 5-kilometer, an 8k, a 15k or a half marathon.
One option they didn’t have: a marathon.
It wasn’t always this way. From 2000 to 2010, a 26.2-mile run was also on menu of this Tampa, Fla., event, but the race never caught on. In the last few years before 2010’s Final Voyage, as it was called, the marathon scraped up barely 1,000 competitors.