Grab your sunscreen & running shoes and check out our top spring races in the Florida Keys!
While the rest of the country is defrosting and grueling it out on the “dreadmill” to stay active this winter, we’ve been soaking up the sun while working up a sweat outdoors. Keys summers may be a little too hot and humid for competitive racing, but spring is the perfect time for a run-cation. Whether you’re a competitive runner, walker or just looking to burn off a few of the Sloppy Joe’s cocktails from the night before, one of these spring races is for you! So don’t forget to pack your sneakers and join us for these top 5 spring races in the Florida Keys (in chronological order):
Race Month: January
Location: Key West
To Benefit: Various Florida Keys Organizations
Named one of the year’s best half marathons by Runner’s World, we just had to include this winter race. Nearly the entire course is along the Atlantic ocean, and with the race start at 7am you’re sure to catch an amazing Key West sunrise. An average temp of 75 degrees, a wine topper medal, colorful race shirts and beer at the finish line make this a true Key West Experience! Not interested in running 13.1 miles? The 5K course is just as great; you’ll race down famous Duval Street and enjoy a scenic ocean view from Mallory Square.
Race Month: February
Location: Miami/Key West
To Benefit: Special Olympics Florida
The greatest distance of our top spring races (and arguably the most fun), the annual Florida Keys Ragnar Relay course starts in Miami and ends in Key West, just under 200 miles. Teams of 12 will split into two vans and “Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat.” for over 24 hours until they reach the finish line at Higgs beach. Teams get especially creative in this relay by matching their shirts or costumes, decorating their vans and “tagging” other vehicles with their own custom-made team magnets. All finishers receive a coveted Ragnar medal that doubles as a bottle opener.
Race Month: April
To Benefit: Middle Keys youth programs
One of the most anticipated spring races in the Keys, the 7 Mile Bridge Run gives runners the rare opportunity to race across the famous bridge that connects Knight’s Key (Marathon) to Little Duck Key (Lower Keys). Usually selling out within minutes, the lucky 1500 registrants start on the Marathon side of the bridge and race toward Key West. In addition to the beautiful ocean views, runners may spot sea turtles, dolphins, and stingrays along this one of a kind race course. The one and a half hour deadline is non-negotiable (a school bus picks up anyone running slower than 10 minute miles), which makes this race a fast one. For those of you that weren’t able to get in, check out the funny alternative option that same day in Key West: the Zero K Cow Key Bridge Run.
Race Month: April
Location: Key West
To Benefit: Mote Marine Lab
This 3.1 mile run is perfect for the tourist or local who wants to run a a Key West version of a “trail” run at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Expect to run through some gravel, dirt, stone and even a little sand until you reach the halfway point along the Truman Waterfront. After the race, grab your free beer and stick around for the Florida Keys Ocean Festival and Waterfront Craft Show.
Race Month: May
Location: 100M Run & Relay – Key Largo. 50M – Big Pine Key. 50K – TBD.
To Benefit: The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys
The last (but certainly not least) of our top spring races in the Florida Keys, this esteemed race is also one of the toughest. Race from Key Largo to Key West on this 100 mile course, covering each of the Florida Keys and their 42 bridges. Not a 100 mile Ultrarunner? Don’t fret! There is also a individual 50 mile, a 50K (new this year!) or a 100 mile relay where you and five of your equally crazy running friends take turns every few miles until you reach Key West. Fun is encouraged in this relay, and there’s even an award for the best decorated van!
As you can see, there truly is a race for everyone at any fitness level. If you want to see the Florida Keys without racing competitively, you’ll enjoy the Keys 100 or Ragnar Relay. Something shorter in mind? Choose the Smokin Tuna Trot 5K. How about an exclusive race course with a view? Race in the 7 Mile Bridge Run. Up for a challenge on vacation? Pick the Key West Half Marathon. Or, try all five and tell us your favorite!