“I just didn’t wanna flip a switch and act like nothing happened last year,” Mimi Chaven, the director of run, fun and happy (this is what it says on her name tag) told The Gabber. St. Pete Beach hosts an annual Classic Race, including 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons.
The 10K slid into the 7 a.m. slot and the scheduled 5K took the 9 a.m. position on Saturday, Jan. 15. The race’s half-marathon started Sunday at 6:45 a.m. While running is a driving factor of the classic, Chaven said she wanted to enhance this year’s event.
“I really wanted to make it a community event, so that’s when I reached out to see what people needed,” Much to Chaven’s amazement, she found that the majority of those she spoke with wanted to give back to the local art community.
“We don’t have a locally judged art show.” Chaven explained. So, she decided to fix that issue by enlisting local artists to judge the show, set up an art gallery that displayed local art, and provide local arts and crafts vendors a diverse opportunity.
“We’re just trying to include everybody on every level. It’s not just about the community. We try to give back as much as we can,” she said.
In addition to the races and the art, Chaven said the Classic offered a beach run during sunset on Saturday night, and Big Brother Band entertained participants during a special bonfire.
“We run on the streets, we party on the beach,” Mimi said, followed by a chuckle.