KEY WEST, Fla. — Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle is to inspire athletes on land and water in Key West, the island where the legendary writer lived during the 1930s. The Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race are to challenge entrants during scheduled group competitions Saturday, July 24, or individually.
Now in its 32nd year, the nationally acclaimed race is part of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days celebration of the late author’s life and work.
While athletes in the 2020 events participated individually because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 race features its traditional group format while also offering individual options. Organizers encourage all athletes to take personal responsibility and follow accepted health safety recommendations.
Race registration and packet pickup are scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Saturday at Key West’s Truman Waterfront at the end of Southard Street. Entrants can register up to the race start time.
The Paddleboard Race, managed and timed by Lazy Dog Adventures, is to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday on the Atlantic Ocean beach beside the Southernmost Beach Cafe, 1405 Duval St. Entrants paddle a 3-mile ocean course before finishing back at the beach.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, runners and walkers depart from Truman Waterfront Park at the end of Southard Street. Organizers plan a rolling start with appropriate spacing. The fast, flat 3.1-mile course takes participants through the park and into Old Town Key West to conclude at the Southernmost Point marker.
After the race officially begins, the start line will remain open for runners who prefer a less crowded atmosphere.
Those who want to participate on their own can use the free RaceJoy app to track their progress and submit their results. Individuals can complete their events any time during a four-day window, following either the original or alternate courses for runners and paddleboarders. Those who can’t be in Key West can participate from their hometowns using RaceJoy.
Finishers in both the paddleboard race and 5k are to receive awards in multiple categories. Athletes who compete in both challenges earn special medals.
Interested participants can register online at keywesthalfmarathon.com or on race day at the Truman Waterfront. The fee for the run/walk is $60 per person, as is entry in the paddleboard race, with a 25% discount for people participating in both. For 25% military and local discounts, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees include a collectible race tech shirt and finisher medal.
Participants also can enjoy activities including a complimentary yoga class, a Hemingway Trivia Hunt and a rum tasting at Key West First Legal Rum Distillery.