KEY WEST, Fla. — Competitors on foot and on paddleboards can prove their stamina and salute Ernest Hemingway’s active outdoor lifestyle during a two-sport challenge Saturday, July 20 — the day before the 120th anniversary of the legendary author’s birth.
The Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race is a sporting highlight of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, celebrating the life and work of the author who lived in Key West during the 1930s.
The nationally acclaimed race, presented by the Hemingway Rum Co., typically draws hundreds of entrants to compete on Key West’s scenic streets and waters.
The Paddleboard Race is to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Atlantic Ocean beach beside the island city’s Southernmost Beach Cafe, 1405 Duval St. Entrants paddle a 3-mile ocean course before finishing back at the beach.
At 7:30 p.m., runners and walkers depart from the Southernmost Point in the continental United States, located overlooking the Atlantic at the corner of Whitehead and South streets. The fast, flat 3.1-mile course takes them through picturesque Old Town Key West past landmarks including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
A post-race awards party is scheduled at the Southernmost Beach Café.
In the paddleboard race, the first- through 10th-place male and female finishers are to receive awards, as are the top three males and females in the race board category. In the 5k, awards await the top three male and female overall finishers, top three male and female masters, and top three male and female finishers in age categories ranging from 9 and under to 75 and over.
Athletes with stamina enough to compete in both challenges earn special medals.