KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Runners seeking a scenic warm-weather race this winter can find it Friday through Monday, Jan. 15-18, at an event acclaimed as one of the United States’ leading winter half-marathons.
The Key West Half Marathon & 5k Run is to challenge competitors in a new individual format designed to enhance their safety during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We can’t have the traditional event with a large field of runners competing simultaneously due to the ever-changing situation with COVID-19, so we’re doing a modified in-person race,” said event founder and coordinator Barbara Wright.
According to Wright, athletes planning to be in Key West can participate individually using the free RaceJoy app to track their progress, receive turn-by-turn course directions and submit their results, while enjoying the Florida Keys’ subtropical January climate. As well as the half-marathon course, they can choose from three 5k run courses, completing them any time during the race weekend.
Alternatively, racers can participate from their hometowns by using RaceJoy.
Entrants can test their strength and speed in the half marathon and 5k any time between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, Jan. 15-18. The half-marathon course begins in the Key West Historic Seaport and proceeds through the island’s historic Old Town and Atlantic Ocean shoreline, while the 5k courses include Old Town or waterfront areas.
Wright stressed that athletes are to follow local health directives, wear facial coverings when required and take personal responsibility to minimize the potential spread of coronavirus.
Awards await first- through third-place male and female finishers in five-year age groups ranging from 9 and under to 75 and over, as well as the top overall competitors and those in the masters division.
The in-person half-marathon entry fee is $110 and the in-person 5k entry fee is $65. Racers participating virtually pay $85 and $65, respectively. Military and local discounts are offered. Each entrant is to receive a long-sleeved tech race shirt, custom face gaiter, custom water bottle and finisher medal by mail to eliminate the traditional packet pickup.
A portion of race proceeds benefits Key West Sunrise Rotary Club scholarships, Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys and other charitable partners.
Event information and registration: keywesthalfmarathon.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY