Every now and then I hear about a new race that sounds fun and unique. The inaugural Southernmost Marathon & Half Marathon in Key West, Florida is one of them.
Taking off on October 12, the race gets its name from Key West’s designation as the southernmost city in the continental U.S.
Organizers promise a flat and fast marathon course with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Old Town Key West as they cross Stock Island, Boca Chica Key and Rockland Key via the famous Overseas Highway.
The half marathon takes runners through an out-and-back course along Key West’s Atlantic Ocean shore and historic Old Town.
Talk about ocean views.
Both races share start and finish lines in front of Pat Croce’s Rum Barrel, the presenting sponsor of the event, who will also host the post-race party that goes until 11 p.m. Water stations will line the course every two miles, along with six music stations and four cheer zones dotting the run. One of the most fun ideas I’ve ever heard: a roving Trolley Cheer Mobile will ride along the course.
To keep the Florida sun at bay, the marathon begins at 5:30 a.m. and the half marathon at 6:00 a.m. Average highs in October hover near 85 degrees, while average lows dip around 76.
In honor of the first Southernmost Marathon and Half Marathon organizers have a suite of festivities planned from Thursday, October 10 through Monday, October 14 including a race expo, meet and greet with the race directors, a full line-up of music, and dinner specials. Sunday stand-up paddleboard races will benefit Special Olympics Florida.
Registration is $110 for the marathon or $85 for the half marathon. Finisher swag includes a race tee, medal and goody bag.
I’ve never been to Key West, or anywhere in the Florida Keys for that matter, but I do love a slice of Key Lime Pie. I just might have to mark the new Southernmost Marathon and Half Marathon down on the “someday” list.
More Races in the Florida Keys
If you can’t make it down in October, Key West also has the Key West Half Marathon and 5K Run on January 19, 2014, along with many 5Ks and short distance races throughout the year.
Further up the Florida Keys, the 7 Mile Bridge Run is one of the Keys’ most famous events in the appropriately named Marathon, Florida. The run takes place entirely over the span of the Seven Mile Bridge, which connects Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. The race is celebrating its 33rd running on April 5, 2014.
For more information on running in the Florida Keys and Key West, visit fla-keys.com. I found some really fun sounding races on the site, like the Key Largo Bridge Run and the Florida Keys Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West.