8 On Your Side Health & Fitness Expo underway

8 On Your Side Health & Fitness Expo underway

TAMPA (WFLA) — The 8 On Your Side Health & Fitness Expo kicked off Friday right along with the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Race weekend.

Runners can pick up their T-shirts, race packets, and bib numbers. But the expo is a free event anyone.

“It’s a fun, exciting event, where memories are made, goals are set and the memories last a lifetime so we’re able to give that to the community and we’re thrilled about that,” said Gasparilla Distance Classic Association Executive Director Susan Harmeling.

The expo also offers the latest in shoes and apparel, medical breakthroughs and information to help you take charge of your health.

Visitors can learn the basics of pickleball and take a look at local vendor booths throughout the expo.

“This is their very first expo in a year so it would be really great if everyone came out to support them… it’s a great expo for everyone,” expo manager Kitty Lyons said.

“I’ll be 100 in June,” said 99-year-old Betty Ashley who is warming up for her tenth Gasparilla Distance Classic. “I have medals and plaques from every one.”

Ashley is one of thousands of participants signed up for this year’s virtual race who will check in at the expo.

“The expo is free and open to the public, so we encourage people to come on out. The great part about the vendors today, they are our local companies here,” said Harmeling.

The expo is free and open to the public at Tampa Convention Center’s East Hall. You can visit anytime Friday between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The race is virtual, however, Bayshore Boulevard will be blocked off Saturday and Sunday between 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to give participants somewhere to race.