Join us for a howling good time at The 5th Annual Halloween Halfathon & 5K Race, scheduled for Sunday, October 27, at our nation's favorite beach: Fort De Soto Park, just south of St. Petersburg. Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory!
Fort De Soto Park has been named America?s Top Beach by TripAdvisory several times over the years. Citing a ?spectacular combination of soft white sand, calm, clear water and a laid-back atmosphere,? the popular online travel network put the park?s North Beach at the top of its annual best-of list, based on TripAdvisor's Popularity Index.
This pristine Pinellas County beach has also received top honors on an annual ?best-of? list. In 2005, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. ?Dr. Beach,? named Fort De Soto the nation?s #1 Beach.
The halfathon course starts with a loop for the first 5K before an out-and-back 10 mile tour of Ft. De Soto Park. The aforementioned 5K loop comprises the 5K race.
Both courses are located entirely in Ft. De Soto Park and run on paved trails and access roads. These are extremely flat and fast courses with no bridges, overpasses, or discernible inclines. They are accurately measured and certified by the USATF.
All finishers in both the halfathon and the 5K Race earn unique, Halloween Starfish gold medals. In both the Halfathon and the 5k Race, awards are up for grabs for M/F Open, Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+), three deep; age group awards offered three deep in 5 year increments.
7 Aid stations for the halfathon and 1 for the 5K, with enthusiastic volunteers, water and Gatorade, and fresh Florida oranges starting at the midpoint of the half marathon.
Our area's weather on Halloween: average low is 62, average high is 82, perhaps a tad warmer than preferred for running, but we will be starting the race 40 minutes before sunrise. Of course, the mild temperatures will be welcome while relaxing on our nation's #1 Beach after the race
Halloween Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory. While we don't anticipate any athletes in gorilla costumes completing 13.1 miles, we do hope athletes will create costumes that will not adversely affect their running. That's our challenge to you. Or simply wear mismatched uniforms. Or orange and black. Celebrate this unique holiday tradition!
Walkers are welcome to join these races. Course support is based on a 3:30 pace. Due to our staging of this race entirely within a park and primarily on nature trails, we will NOT be offering an early walker's start. All athletes will start at the same time.
? Deep discounts on registration fees for early entrants - see below
? A fair refund policy for early entrants ? see below
? Accurately measured, USATF certified course
? Extremely safe courses with excellent traffic control, including cones and police
? Accurate mile markers; Computerized timing / scoring
? Seven aid stations stocked with Gatorade, water, oranges and friendly volunteers
? Halloween Starfish gold medals for all Halfathon and 5K finishers
? Awards for the top three in standard age groups
? Overall, Masters (40+), and Grandmasters (50+) plaques for the top three males and females
? A complete web-site for easily accessible information:
- On-line registration
- On-line confirmation frequently updated
? Regular e-mails, providing updated information
? Opportunity to pick up bib numbers on race day
? Colorful t-shirt highlighting the Halloween theme
? Finish-line celebration our nation's #1 Beach:
- An assortment of fruits, bagels, and pastries
- Freshly prepared homemade pasta
- Live entertainment
HALFATHON ENTRY FEES
$50 online ONLY for the first 50 entrants or by May 15, whichever comes first
$60 postmarked / online before June 30, 2013
$70 postmarked/online before September 8, 2013
$80 postmarked/online before October 20, 2013
$80 online ONLY before October 24, 2013
$90 on-site registration, October 26-27, 2013
5K RACE ENTRY FEES
$35 postmarked/online before September 8, 2013
$40 postmarked/online before October 20, 2013
$40 online only before October 24, 2013
$45 on-site registration, October 26-27, 2013
HALFATHON VIRTUAL RUN
$30 postmarked/online before October 24, 2013 - USA Address
$35 postmarked/online before October 24, 2013 - International Address
5K VIRTUAL RUN
$25 postmarked/online before October 24, 2013 - USA Address
$30 postmarked/online before October 24, 2013 - International Address
Early entrants who register by July 31 are eligible for complete refunds of entry fees or deferral to another upcoming race - athlete's choice.
There are no refunds, transfers or credits, unless you register by July 31, AND notify the race director of your withdrawal at least two weeks prior to the race. There are NO transfers to other athletes. ALL refunds from ALL races will be issued at the same time - after our Florida Beach Halfathon on or about April 1, 2014.
All our races are sanctioned and insured through USATF for runners, joggers, and walkers ONLY. Strollers, skaters, skateboards and bicycles are NOT allowed on the course during our races.
HEADPHONES AND IPODS
Headphones of any type are now allowed at USATF sanctioned events, but are discouraged due to safety concerns, not only during the actual race, but as importantly, while athletes are training in an uncontrolled environment. Individual races may impose their own regulations, but we don?t, as it would be nearly impossible to enforce.
VIRTUAL RUN INFORMATION
We offer Virtual Run options during the weeks surrounding October 27th to coincide with the actual running of our races.
Net proceeds (after costs of bib, medal, shipping, administration) will be donated to several small local non-profits through our Starfish Support Foundation, including running clubs to assist with their scholarship efforts.
Here is how our Virtual Runs work:
1) Athletes register for $25 for our 5K or $30 for our Halfathon. International Athletes are charged an extra $5 to cover the cost of international shipping.
2) Athletes who register by 11:59 pm, Sunday, October 6, will have their ultra-personalized official bib number sent out via regular mail no later than Monday, October 14th. ALL entrants will have access to a secure page on our website for home printing. Entrants who register after Sunday, October 6 will NOT have an ultra-personalized bib sent by mail. We would LOVE it if you wear your bib number while you complete your virtual run and it would be even better if you have some photos taken and share them with us.
3) Athletes must complete a half marathon (13.1 miles) or 5K during the 16-day period from October 19 - November 3rd. These time periods are extended for several reasons: 1) some of our virtual athletes live in areas where weather will create obstacles too severe to run safely; 2) athletes participating in other popular fall races can "double-dip" - earning extra bling for the same run; 3) this time-frame offers achievable goals for beginners - perhaps we can provide some added motivation.
4) For the purposes of the 5K Virtual Run, you MUST complete your mileage in one of the three weekends - you can run one 5K or split it up over the weekend.
5) For the purposes of the Halfathon Virtual Run, you may complete your mileage in one run or you can split it up over the 16 days - your choice.
6) If the time spans seem too easy, please remember our goals are to promote a healthy, active lifestyle AND to raise $$$ for local non-profits.
7) Please share your results, experience and photos at our Facebook Event page. Your results will NOT be recorded as official results, nor will you be eligible for age group awards or rankings. It is not necessary to send us emails to report results, but you are certainly welcome to share your comments with us.
8) These virtual runs are staged completely on the honor system. By registering, we assume you will complete the mileage required. We will send you an official finisher medal from your event. These are gorgeous custom-made medals, along with custom ribbons.
9) If we have medals left over after distribution to finishers on-site at our races, we will be able to ship virtual run participants their medal within a week or so after the event.
10) However, if we run out of medals, we will need to order new ones and it will take 5-6 weeks, as they will be manufactured overseas to our specific order.
11) Medals will be sent to virtual runners in the order of registration. This means some of you may receive medals within 2 weeks of our race, while others may receive them in 5-6 weeks.
12) Virtual athletes who complete our entire halfathon series from October thru March will also earn the opportunity to earn a series completion medal for just $10 to cover the cost of medal production and shipping. This purchase option will be available during registration for our series' finale: the Florida Beach Halfathon & 5K Race.
13) Regardless of how it all unfolds, we will send out emails right after the race advising our virtual athletes of when medals will be shipped.
Thank you for participating in our virtual run - it is very much appreciated by those non-profits we support.
5TH ANNUAL FLORIDA HALFATHON CHALLENGE
In addition to offering finisher, overall, and age group awards after each halfathon and our marathon, we also track each athlete's finishing times and add them together to determine the Florida Halfathon Champions.
Athletes accumulate their total finishing time by completing any two of our halfathon segments, PLUS our season-ending finale at the Florida Beach Halfathon during our race season from Halloween through March. For the purposes in determining Florida Halfathon Champions, athletes can use either or both marathon segments completed during the Clearwater Marathon.
To recognize our fastest and most consistent halfathon athletes, we offer special overall and age-group rewards based on three halfathon segments. We also recognize athletes who complete all four of our halfathons (or the Clearwater Marathon instead of the Clearwater Halfathon) with a limited-edition, series finisher medal.
The Florida Gulf Beaches Road Races Schedule
Sunday, October 27: 5th Annual Florida Halloween Halfathon & 5K Race, Ft. De Soto Park
Sunday, December 15: 12th Annual Florida Holiday Halfathon, Madeira Beach to Largo
Sunday, January 19: 15th Annual Clearwater Running Festival: Marathon, Halfathon, 5-Miler, and 5K Fitness Walk
Sunday, March 23: 5th Annual Florida Beach Halfathon & 5K Race, Ft. De Soto Park
JOIN US AT FACEBOOK!
To communicate with our athletes efficiently as well as attract new athletes, as race director, I have created a running-specific profile to complement the race-specific "Florida Road Races" Page. I use both to keep endurance athletes up-to-date as upcoming races approach. In addition, the Florida Road Races page will have photos, videos, and links posted to it as time permits. I hope the public page will provide a forum for discussion among athletes who participate in our road races.
To become a facebook friend of Chris Lauber-FloridarRoadRaceDirector, click here.
To join other endurance athletes at the Florida Road Races Page, click here.
For information about our complete schedule of races, please visit www.FloridaRoadRaces.com.
Run on our roads, relax on our award-winning beaches!
Chris Lauber, Race Director