Nov. 22, 2019 – Daytona Beach, a destination known for its family-friendly fun – from paddle boarding through quiet inlets to parasailing through the skies to biking and running along miles of pristine trails – is quickly becoming one of Florida’s top ‘race-cation’ destinations. These six top winter season races include two Boston Marathon qualifiers, one-of-a-kind routes and unique experiences offering families a way to combine their love for running and travel with a Florida beach vacation:
- Central Florida Legends Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K – Nov. 24, 2019
All three of these new races begin and end at Gemini Springs Park, just 30 minutes west of Daytona Beach. Serving as a Boston Marathon qualifier, the routes traverse through pristine Florida wilderness along sections of the scenic Spring-to-Spring and East Coast Regional paved trails (that are flat and fast!) and will include, on the outbound, a scenic two-mile notch overlooking Lake Monroe.
- Challenge DAYTONA Triathlon Festival – Dec. 13-15, 2019
Named the “Best New Race of 2018” by Triathlete Magazine, top triathletes will swim, bike and run at the “World Center of Racing” during the CHALLENGE DAYTONA Triathlon Festival. All the action takes place at the iconic Daytona International Speedway. The Middle Distance Triathlon main event features a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. VIP opportunities include exclusive “Hot Laps” for athletes to ride shot gun in a pace car and experience high-speed laps on the Speedway’s 31-degree high banks. Triathlon fans and spectators alike will enjoy this three day festival that includes a Junior Challenge kids’ race, relay categories, duathlon and Aquabike events, and 5K/10K run/walk events that provide fun for all ages and skill levels.
- Moonlight Beach Run Half Marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K – Jan. 4, 2020
Runners can kick off their healthiest year yet at Moonlight Beach Run! All courses are out and back on the hard-packed, expansive beaches of Daytona Beach. Finishers receive a long-sleeve T-shirt, a funky, glow-in-the-dark finisher medal and, everyone enjoys a post-race celebration at historic Daytona Beach Bandshell.
- Daytona Beach Half Marathon and 5K – Feb. 8-9, 2020
Back for its 11th year, the Daytona Beach Half Marathon draws runners from across the nation who come to race, celebrate and spend time soaking in the Florida sun. Named one of seven “Scenic Half Marathons in America” by Active.com, runners will start on the famed tri-oval track of Daytona International Speedway, run to the “World’s Most Famous Beach” and return to ONE DAYTONA for a photo finish. Located directly across from Daytona International Speedway, this hot spot is the perfect space for runners to celebrate with drinks, food and awards! The Saturday afternoon out and back Beachin’ It 5K is followed by a beach party rounding out a one-of-a-kind weekend.
- Tomoka Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k – Mar. 21, 2020
A Boston Marathon Qualifier, the Tomoka Marathon is a beautiful and unique multi-distance running event that begins and ends at the historic Casements. Its one-of-a-kind route takes runners through an area affectionately known as “The Tomoka Loop,” a flat Florida Scenic Highway with diverse natural “Old Florida” scenery. Tomoka Marathon was selected by runners as one of the “Top 20 Marathons in the US” according to BibRave100 and was featured in Runner’s World as one of “70 American Road Races Every Runner Should Finish.”
- Easter Beach Run – April 4, 2020
This festive, Easter-themed beach run is the oldest consecutive footrace in the State of Florida. For over 50 years, participants have enjoyed a scenic run on the hard-packed sands of the World’s Most Famous Beach while traveling out and back for a 4-mile race, 2-mile fun run or health walk. Kids are also welcome to participate in the 1/4-mile race, 100 and 50-yard dash. Follow on Facebook for updates.
Whether a runner lives for the adrenaline of a bucket-list race or simply loves the fun and friendship that takes place at events like these, Daytona Beach has the answer. So pack your running shoes and start your engines! More information is available at DaytonaBeach.com.