The popular Miami Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon may have passed, but there are still plenty of great races around South Florida to lace up for, whether you’re a newbie on the circuit or a medaled track star. We’ve rounded up some of the best races in the area, so get packing and begin training. We’ll see you at the starting line.
Publix A1A Marathon
When: February 14
Where: Fort Lauderdale
The course: Quieter and less crowded than January’s Miami Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon, the Fort Lauderdale Marathon makes for an ideal excuse for a winter getaway. You’re guaranteed ocean views and balmy breezes along one of the most famous roads (State Road A1A) in America. Plus, the race is one of fastest marathons in the state. Celebrate crossing the finish line at a festive post-race beach party with food, beer and live music.
Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale. Visit the oceanfront Forbes Travel Guide Four Star hotel’s, new Burlock Coast Seafare and Spirits for off-diet picks like fish and chips, Key Lime Pie for Many (a full-sized pie with a graham cracker crust, fresh whipped cream, toasted meringue crunch and candy lime peel) and the rum cart that wheels around the dining room.
Paradise Coast Marathon and Half Marathon
When: Postponed; date to be announced
The course: The Paradise Coast Marathon and Half Marathon in Naples will take you through the scenic Lely Resort, where you’ll see miles of swaying palm trees and run past nearly 20 lakes. Participants finish in the victory lane of the Florida Sports Park.
Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. Kick up your feet and enjoy an alfresco lunch post-race at the Four-Star resort’s Poolside Grill.
Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1
When: March 6
Where: Miami Beach
The course: Thanks to this race, you see a totally different side of Miami. With the exciting sights of Ocean Drive, sparkling water views and on-course entertainment from bands and dancers, you’ll cross the finish line before you know it. A post-race celebration, with Latin food and beer, make the 13.1-mile journey worth every drip of sweat.
Where to stay: The Betsy – South Beach is a Four-Star beauty mere paces from all the racing excitement. While there are plenty of great dining options in the area, you can’t go wrong with room service from The Betsy’s BLT Steak and a celebratory drink at the Lobby Salon.
Southernmost Marathon & Half Marathon
When: October 8
Where: Key West
The course: Run around the southernmost island in the United States while enjoying the sunrise, miles of ocean and gulf views and iconic Key West landmarks. The fast, flat course takes you off of Key West, through Stock Island, and up U.S. 1 for a turnaround. Have enough physical and mental fortitude to make it to the Mile 14 aid station and you’ll be rewarded with a key lime pie shot.
Where to stay: Southernmost Beach Resort. You won’t have to venture far for dinner and drinks — the restaurant and bars here have Instagram-worthy vistas, fresh catches, tropical cocktails and a quintessential laid-back vibe on the menu every day.
Space Coast Marathon & Half-Marathon
When: November 27
Where: Cocoa Beach
The course: This space-themed galaxy run, inspired by the race’s proximity to NASA headquarters, is Florida’s oldest marathon. The out-of-this-world event appropriately kicks off with a space shuttle countdown on a jumbotron in the historic and quaint Cocoa Village. Keep an eye out for intergalactic props along the route and volunteers dressed in NASA uniforms who will hand out cups of water.
Where to stay: Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront. Make a sprint for this property because of its convenient location, beautiful sands and Salt Restaurant, one of the town’s top spots for dining.
EAU Palm Beach Marathon & Run Fest
When: December 4
Where: West Palm Beach
The course: The EAU Palm Beach Marathon is one of the most picturesque courses in South Florida. Start out on South Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, taking in the ocean blue and historic homes between heaves of breath. After braving the course, make your way to the Finish Festival at the Meyer Amphitheatre.
Where to stay: Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Not only the title sponsor for the event, this property triumphs by offering luxe amenities, superb service and a Five-Star spa experience.