Bottled water used in the Gasparilla Distance Classic after boil water notice

Race organizers stock up on bottled water

TAMPA - The precautionary boil water notice that has been in place in Tampa since Friday afternoon has been lifted. The city says the water is safe to drink.


Before Austin Richmond and Briana Whaley crossed the finish line in first place for the 15k men's and women's races at the Gasparilla Distance Classic, water was already on the mind of everyone.

Thousands of bottles of water were ready after Tampa's boil water notice went into effect.

Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, kicked off the race poking fun at the water facility failure.

"Lets have a great race. If you see any squirrels along the parade route I don't care what you do with them don't put them in the water system," said  Buckhorn.

A squirrel, or other kind of rodent, is being blames for causing the underground power line to the plant to fail, resulting in the second line to fail and the plant to go dark.

Race director Susan Harmeling said good pre-planning and even mother nature helped prepare them for the unexpected.

"If we were not able to provide them with that water we could not have done the race," said Harmeling.

The warmer weather had them stocking up with water from sponsor Zephyrhills well before the boil order alert. Still, when it went into affect Friday night Susan and her team double checked.

She said only bottled water was handed out to all the runners and the same plan is in place for the second half of the Gasparilla distance classic that will take place Sunday morning.


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