MARATHON, Florida Keys — Florida Keys sunshine and family togetherness attract hundreds of avid runners and walkers from around the U.S. to the Middle Keys each year for the Sombrero Beach Run, a mixture of athleticism and beach fun. This year’s sporty weekend is set for Friday through Sunday, March 6-8.
Reasons for the run/walk’s popularity over the last 14 years include the encouragement to families to “come for the run, stay for the sun” and participate in the healthful weekend while benefiting a worthwhile cause. Keys Area Interdenominational Resources is a Marathon-based nonprofit organization that provides valuable emergency services, housing assistance and relocation services in addition to a food pantry.
Participants can register now and save. Until 11:59 p.m. (ET) Friday, March 6, registration for the combined 15k is $30 per adult age 18 and over. Students 17 and under and U.S. military personnel can enter for $15 per person. Registration for each of the shorter 10k and 5k events is $25 per adult age 18 and up and $10 for students.
After midnight March 6, the 15k entry fee increases to $35 per adult and 10k and 5k entry fee increases to $30 per adult. Student fees remain the same. The first 500 pre-registered participants are to receive a custom logo T-shirt and other goodies.
The weekend begins with a traditional kick-off party set for 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, with food, drinks and music and DJ entertainment at Sombrero Beach at the end of Sombrero Beach Road at mile marker 50. Runners and walkers can pick up registration packets.
Walkers and runners also can register on-site at 7 a.m. Saturday. The 15k challenge and 10k start at 8 a.m. and the 5k run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. A free kids’ fun run is planned for 10:30 a.m.
Race day attractions include music and beachside fun, refreshments, door prizes and a silent auction to bid on artwork, exclusive memberships and admissions to Keys attractions and area eateries.
An awards ceremony on the beach follows Saturday’s race. Attractions include a barbecue, drinks and music.
Overall male and female winners are recognized, as are first- through third-place male and female finishers in multiple age categories. Awards typically include resort stays, cash and Florida Keys eco-attractions and watersports experiences.
Sunday afternoon rounds out the family fun weekend with kayaking, beach games, music, food, beverages and more Keys sunshine.
Event information and registration: sombrerobeachrun.com
Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284