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Everything you need to know about the Conch Republic. Keep up on local events, nightlife and activities while in Key West.

How to Prep for the Key West Half Marathon

How to Prep for the Key West Half Marathon

December 11th, 2018 | Key West Events & Festivals

The Key West Half Marathon and 5k is coming up on January 20th! Beginning at 7:00 a.m., it’s a fast-paced 13.1 mile challenge across the island’s flat topography, and in true Key West style, it’s packed with fun events before, during and after.

Now in its 21st year, the half marathon draws runners from all over the United States, as well as countries from Iceland to Spain, China and Brazil. The 5k run starts just after the half marathon, at 7:15 a.m.

Also, at 5:30 p.m., the Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk and Paddle Board Race begins. Part of Hemingway Days, an annual celebration of the writer, it’s considered the keys’ premiere multi-sport event. Find more information here.

Sign up

There’s still time to register for the half marathon and the 5k. Click here to reserve your place. Next, it will be time to book your stay! Check out The Gates Hotel’s latest offers and book directly with us. The race takes place during Martin Luther King weekend and Hemingway Days, so don’t wait.  

Preparing for the half marathon

If you’re planning to run the half marathon, your training has probably already begun. You’ve chosen a plan that’s in line not only with your running fitness level but your work and family life as well. You’re working on your race pace and increasing the number of miles you run each week.

As you know, a week to 10 days before the race, you’ll want to reduce your mileage. Allow your muscles to rest and recuperate, and catch up on sleep. Your training has been completed at this point and it’s best to avoid any exercise that will leave you exhausted and sore. Now is your chance to look forward to your stay in Key West and get ready for the big event.

When you get here

Once you arrive, you can settle in, get oriented and enjoy the days and hours leading up to the half marathon. If you feel like taking a relaxed run to keep up your momentum, check out these Key West running routes.

Pick up your packet at Turtle Kraals at 231 Margaret St. on Friday, January 18th from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. or Saturday, January 19th from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Locate the race start line on the corner of Caroline St. and Grinnell St. On race day, there is limited packet pickup from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

You can also take advantage of a special offer from Yoga Key. They’ll be offering special pre- and post-race ‘unlock your stride’ yoga sessions on the Saturday before the marathon at 4:30 p.m. and after the race on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Best of all, these classes are offered at just $9 for runners and you’ll receive the same great rate (over 50% off) for their regularly scheduled classes during the entire week of your stay. Here is the weekly schedule.

The night before the race

Now is the time to eat a pre-run meal that’s high in carbs and low in fiber. Visit our onsite Blind Pig food truck or head into town for a plate of pasta at a place like New York Pasta Garden on Duval St. Lay out out everything you need for the next morning, including your waterproof sunscreen for the Key West sunshine and your fuel for the race.

Race day

Get your race day breakfast before the event. Both open at 6:30 a.m, Cuban Coffee Queen and Harpoon Harry’s are two good options near the race start line. And for those watching the race and enjoying the festivities, the Half Shell Raw Bar is offering $5 Bloody Marys and Mimosas starting at 7:00 a.m. (on the day of the race only).

Everything cumulates with an awards party starting at 9:30 p.m. featuring Howard Livingston & The Mile Marker 24 Band, with beer from the Shipyard Brewing Company. On Monday, there will be a Farewell Party and the chance to meet the race directors and volunteers.

Enjoy a stay at The Gates and this fun event for visitors and locals alike! It’s your chance to enjoy a tropical vacation and fabulous race all in one.