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 23.
The Hemingway 5k Sunset Run 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 Papa’s Pilar Rum and now in its 33rd year, 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 Café, 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.
In the paddleboard race, the first- through third-place male and female finishers are to receive awards, as are the top three males and females in the stock board category. In the 5k, awards await the top three male and female overall finishers, top three male and female masters, top male and female finishers in multiple age categories and top three male and female walkers.
A registration booth is to be open 3-7 p.m. race day outside the Southernmost Beach Café. Race packets can be picked up there.
Events surrounding the challenges include a pre-race brunch Saturday, post-race recovery yoga Sunday presented by Salute to the Sol and a Sunday afternoon Hemingway Rum Bar Stroll.
Runners, walkers and paddleboard enthusiasts can register for the races online at keywesthalfmarathon.com. Virtual participation options are available for those who can’t be in Key West or prefer to compete on their own.
The fee for the run/walk is $59 per person, as is the fee for the paddleboard race, through June 26. Fees are $65 per person thereafter. Athletes who register for both challenges receive a 10% discount on their second event. Military and local discounts are available as well. The entry fee includes a collectible race tech shirt, finisher medal, food, libations and giveaways.