Key Largo, FL to Key West, FL
|Avg Temps f.
|Gain/Loss in ft
< 500 ft
6:15am (staggered start)
~10 miles for full, ~5 miles for water
Summary: With the race slogan of, “Think Turquoise,” runners should expect to see a lot of water as they run from Key Largo to Key West, crossing over more than 30 islands and 40 bridges on their way to the finish. Runners will be on a mix of mainly bike path, pedestrian bridges, service roads, and road shoulders as they make their way under the hot Florida sun. This race produces some fast times, being minimal elevation gain, and offers other distances such as 50k, 50 mile, and relay options.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Be sure to read all the race rules, especially regarding the nighttime lights and clothing requirements: 7:30pm Saturday until 6:00am Sunday, ALL racers (and pacers, if any,) must wear a vest or similar item with reflective material clearly visible 360 degrees, as well as colored blinking LED lights facing front and rear. Requirements are checked at packet pickup
- Heat and humidity, heat and humidity, heat and humidity
- Limited shade, so not only is it hot and humid, there’s no hiding from the sun
- The aid station mile markers count down during the race
- Ice, ice, baby – ice towels at each crew spot, ice bandanas, ice in arm sleeves, anything to keep your core temp cool
- Around mile 43 you enter the Tunnel of Hell, which is a path off the highway, and home to utility poles, high trees, grass, and marshy water.
- Around mile marker 47, runners make their way onto Seven Mile Bridge, where they run close to bustling traffic, with orange cones between the runners and cars. Not for the faint of heart!
- With aid every 5 miles, you can micromanage the course quite a bit and break it into smaller chunks
- With sweating so much from humidity, have a plan for preventing and/or treating chafing and/or foot blisters
- Lots of GI issues with this kind of heat and the massive amount of sweating. Know your body’s signs for too much/too little water/electrolytes/calories and be prepared to adjust as you go
- Be ready for stretches without other runners, so whatever you can do that motivates you, engages you (music, podcasts, creating new recipes 🙂
- Quite a few race reports with crew snafus getting to the right aid station at the right time, so be prepared to adjust if that happens and try and keep it together mentally
- Quite a few gas stations along the way – cool off in the air conditioning inside if you have to (recommended that you buy something if you go inside to cool off/use the bathroom)
- While you don’t need a crew to run this, it was apparent in the race reports that they provide so much more than supplies, as they provide a mental boost, a desire to make it to the next spot, and help in problem-solving small to large problems when the runner’s brain isn’t working (which most of the time started around mile 10!)
Total gain/loss: < 500 ft
Detailed Course Map broken into 5-10 mile segments
Total aid stations: 11
Furthest distance apart: ~10 miles between full aid stations, ~5 miles between water/ice stations, plus full at mile markers 73.9 and 25
What’s available: Typical aid station fare at the full aid stations
See Individual Crew Support Locations and Rules here
Allowed after the first 10 miles, and pacers must comply with the same lighting requirements as the runners at night (see race rules)