MARATHON, Florida Keys — Attracted by Florida Keys sunshine, athletic challenges and family fun, hundreds of avid runners and walkers from around the country head to the Middle Keys for the annual Sombrero Beach Run weekend. The 2019 event is set for Friday through Sunday, March 1-3.
Part of the outdoor run/walk’s popularity is because the event encourages families to participate in the healthful weekend together, and in doing so contribute to a worthwhile cause.
Initially conceived to help stamp out hunger among Keys families in need, the event benefits Keys Area Interdenominational Resources. A Marathon-based nonprofit organization, KAIR provides valuable food pantry and emergency services as well as housing assistance and relocation services.
Participants can register now and save. Until 11:59 p.m. (ET) Friday, March 1, 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. For each of the 10k and 5k events, registration is only $25 per adult age 18 and up and $10 per student.
After midnight March 1, the 15k entry fee increases to $35 per adult, while 10k and 5k entry fees increase 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 1, with food, drinks, music and entertainment at Sombrero Beach, located 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 a.m.
Race day attractions include music and beachside fun, refreshments and door prizes. At the event’s silent auction, bidders can vie for artwork, exclusive memberships and admissions to Keys attractions, area eateries, and a coveted single entry into the exclusive Seven Mile Bridge Run in April.
An awards ceremony on the beach follows Saturday’s race with a barbecue, drinks and music. Overall male and female winners of the 10k, 5k run and 5k walk are recognized, as are first- and second-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 sporty activities such as kayaking and beach games as well as music, food, beverages and more Keys warmth.
Event information and registration: sombrerobeachrun.com
Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284
Sunday afternoon rounds out the family fun weekend with sporty activities such as kayaking or paddling, to launch right from the beach.