Whether you’re just getting started on a running routine or looking for your next ultra-marathon, there are plenty of events in the Florida Keys for every type of runner. The stunning sandy beaches, beautiful boardwalks, and swaying palm trees provide the ultimate tropical setting, making it an amazing place to run instead of your usual gym treadmill.
We gathered the top Florida Keys running events below—from the 7-Mile Bridge Run to the local Florida Keys marathon race—to get you started.
1. The Hemingway 5K
While this race is also a half marathon, the 5K starts right afterward for a scenic run at your own pace. If running is new to you and you’re looking to start with something basic to get you motivated, a 5K is the perfect way to go. At just over three miles, this is a great option for a run with the whole family.
The race is in its 20th year, which means everything is consistently organized and set up without a hitch. The race goes through Key West’s historic Old Town and waterfront areas, offering a lovely scenic route for both visitors and locals.
2. The 7 Mile Bridge Run
As the only run that is completely surrounded by water from start to finish, it doesn’t get more picturesque than this popular event. The Marathon Runners Club’s 7 Mile Bridge Run started in 1982 when the new bridge opened, connecting Knight’s Key in the city of Marathon to Little Duck Key seven miles away.
The run is officially marked at just under seven miles (6.8 to be exact!), which makes it a great choice for runners who are just starting to dip their toes into long-distance running. Step up your game if you’ve breezed your way through a 5K, or simply join in on the fun as part of your normal workout routine.
3. The Southernmost Marathon & Half Marathon
If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, consider a half-marathon or a full marathon. While most of the time these races require a good amount of conditioning and prep, crossing over that finish line surrounded by the beauty of the Florida Keys will be worth it.
The Southernmost Marathon features a flat course from the island of Key West to Stock Island and ends with the Gulf of Mexico as your view. Wondering where the race gets its name? It’s the southernmost marathon on the mainland United States!
4. The Keys100 Ultramarathon
For the extreme long-distance runners out there, Florida has plenty to offer. The Keys100 event features a series of point-to-point races, which you can run individually or as a six-runner, 100-mile team relay. The race starts in scenic Key Largo and ends in Key West at the Atlantic Ocean on Higgs Beach.
While all the choices require intense long-distance training, there are still several options in that category to choose from, including 100-mile, 50-mile, and 50-kilometer races that all end with the revitalizing ocean at the Higgs Beach finish line to greet you after your long-distance endeavor. Plus, the race promotes fundraising for The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys.
Although simply lounging on the beach will always be a popular pastime in Key West, running and fitness are an important part of Florida’s culture. Enjoy an amazing workout and stunning views when you participate in a race in Key West, whether it’s the Keys100 Ultramarathon or the 7 Mile Bridge Run.
Article written by Kalie Eyman | Featured photo courtesy of Tobias Negele
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