KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle is to inspire athletes on land and water in Key West, the island where the legendary writer lived during the 1930s. The Hemingway 5k Sunset Run and Paddleboard Race are to test entrants’ speed in two types of competition Saturday, July 22.
Now in its 34th year and presented by Papa’s Pilar Rum, the nationally acclaimed event is part of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days celebration of the late author’s life and work.
Race registration and packet pickup are scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Saturday outside Key West’s Southernmost Beach Resort, 1405 Duval St.
The Paddleboard Race, managed and timed by Lazy Dog Adventures, is to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Atlantic Ocean at Higgs Beach, located at 1000 Atlantic Blvd. Entrants paddle a 3-mile ocean course before finishing back at the beach.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, runners and walkers in the 5k depart from the Southernmost Point in the continental United States, located overlooking the Atlantic in the 1300 block of Whitehead Street. The fast, flat 3.1-mile course takes participants through part of Key West’s scenic Old Town past landmarks including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
An awards beach party follows the run, beginning at 8 p.m. outside the Southernmost Beach Café, also at 1405 Duval St., with entertainment, food, raffles and libations. Finishers in both the paddleboard race and 5k are to receive awards in multiple categories. Athletes who compete in both challenges earn special medals.
Events surrounding the 5k and paddle challenge include Sunday’s Hemingway Rum Bar Stroll and fun-filled Beer Mile.
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 5k is $61 per person, as is the fee for the paddleboard race, through June 30. Fees are $63 per person after that date. 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.
Event information: keywesthalfmarathon.com
Paddleboard entrants paddle a 3-mile Atlantic Ocean course that starts and ends at Key West's Higgs Beach.
Runners and walkers start the 5k from the Southernmost Point, then follow a 3.1 miles course through Key West's Old Town. Photo: Ron Cooke