At 8:00 a.m., Sally Gatza sang a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner prior to the starting horn. The race took participants over the challenging incline of the Memorial Causeway, out to Clearwater Beach, then back to Coachman Park where a post-race pancake breakfast was served under a big tent. During the breakfast, runners were able to get information and free "Truth About Drugs" DVDs from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World booth.
The Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic is presented by the Dianetics Athletics Association, and was founded in 1988 when Scientologist and word-class athlete Sandra Johnson was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard's message for a drug-free life. The Say No to Drugs Holiday classic has grown to become a premiere race in Tampa Bay, drawing rave reviews from its runners.
Past participants of the Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic include six-time World Ironman Triathlon Champion Mark Allen, Canadian Olympian Peter Maher, American Olympian Ronnie Holassie, Swiss Olympian Dan Otz, and 5-time Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick.
All proceeds from the Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic benefit the local Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Youth Triathlon Series, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Foundation for a Drug-Free World and Youth for a Drug-Free Florida, as well as many other deserving organizations.
Sponsors include WQYK 99.5FM, Crystal Springs Water, Gatorade, PowerBar, FitNiche, USATF, Active.com, SweetWheat, Einstein Bros Bagels, Chainwheel Drive, Sweet Tomatoes, Outspokin Bike Shop, and Dr. Michael D'Alesio.
More information on the Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic can be found at " http://www.saynotodrugs.com/">www.saynotodrugs.com