I know it’s hard to imagine right now while temperatures are still sweltering and you go from showered to sweaty in 10 seconds flat, but fall is coming! And that means running weather is coming! I typically take the summer as my “running hibernation” because it’s just so miserable out. Now that it’s officially September it’s time for me to bust out my running shoes again and take to the sidewalks. Here are some upcoming races in the Sarasota/Bradenton area that can motivate you to get moving again too!
Ghost Run – Saturday October 21
You can participate in the Ghost Run in four different ways! Sign up for the traditional chip-timed 5K that winds through downtown Bradenton and along the Riverwalk, or follow the same route with your dog in the chip-timed Ghost Run with Doggies. For the non-runners out there, sign up for the Poker Walk and visit several pubs while playing hands of poker. (You can also do the Poker Walk after completing the 5K.) Kids Monster Dashes are available for those 12 and under. Sign up today!
Boo Run – Saturday, October 28
This is a great race for the whole family to get involved in! Benefiting Another Day for Gray, runners in this race are encouraged to dress in costume. Not only are awards given out for top finishers in each age group, but there are also prizes for best couple, most creative, most funny, and best male/female kids under 10! Register here.
Tidewell Turkey Trot 5K – Saturday November 18
Located in Lakewood Ranch, this is a great race for the whole family to get involved in! Benefitting Tidewell Hospice, this race features Thanksgiving-themed music, volunteers, and water stops. Not only is the Turkey Trot pet and stroller friendly, it also has a 1 mile walk, a 1K race, and kids races. Participants are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Manatee County. Click here to register.
Jingle Bell Run – Saturday December 2
For people looking to run for a cause, this race supports The Arthritis Foundation and is the longest-standing festive race around. This year the race will start at 8:30am in Nathan Benderson Park. The Jingle Bell Run welcomes kids, dogs, walkers, and runners, and focuses more on fun than finish times. Registration fees include a performance shirt and jingle bells to wear as you run! Sign up here for the fun.
Frosty 5K – Saturday December 16
Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota is the venue for this holiday race. The frosty theme carries through the shirts, hats (select which you would prefer at registration), and finisher medals. When you register you can choose from a regular registration or a premium which includes both the hat and shirt. This popular race is limited to 800 participants and has sold out early the past four years. Register today!
Jingle 5K – Friday December 22
This popular evening run never disappoints! Runners enjoy holiday music along the course and live music when they finish at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, along with food and adult beverages at the post-run party. When you register for the 5K run, 1 mile walk, or kid’s dash you will receive jingle bells, laces, and lighted flashers to wear, and the first 1,800 registrants receive a moisture-wicking shirt. Another perk for runners is the wave start based on your estimated finish time so everyone can run comfortably at their own pace. Sign up here!
Middle Distance Races
Gator Grind 6K Run Walk – Saturday November 18
This new chip timed race takes place in the popular Nathan Benderson Park. With separate start times for the run the walk, and the U13 3K, this is a great event for the whole family to enjoy at their own pace. Another bonus: watching the action from the rowing regatta while you walk or run! Register here.
Ringling Bridge Run – Saturday January 13
This popular race offers both a 1 mile fun run and a 4 mile race. Enjoy views of the beautiful Sarasota Bay as you cross over the Ringling Bridge not once, but twice! This a great race for anyone who has done a 5k but wants a little extra challenge. The YMCA also provides childcare during the race! All proceeds benefit the Sarasota YMCA’s youth and family programs. Click here for more information.
Florida West Coast Half Marathon and 5K – Sunday December 10
This half marathon takes advantage of the water views all throughout Nathan Benderson Park, and brings it to another level with the “Floating Final Mile” as racers run across the floating bridge to the finish line. Dry fit tech shirts, finisher medals, age group awards 5 deep, free professional photographs, and a free finisher video all make this race stand out from the rest. If you’re ready for the challenge register here.
Myakka River Half Marathon – Saturday November 11
The Myakka River Half Marathon boasts a fast, paved course through the shaded moss canopies of Myakka River State Park. This race has everything a runner needs, with 10 water stations, accurate mile markers, computerized timing, and bathroom stops along the course. Racers all receive tech shirts (choice of tee or tank), finisher medals, and post-race refreshments and entertainment. Sign up here.
Siesta Key Triathlon – Saturday September 30
Sarasota’s “original” triathlon, The Siesta Key Triathlon benefits the Sarasota YMCA Sharks Swim Team. The sprint distance race consists of a .3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run all along the beautiful beaches of Siesta Key. Whether you are new to triathlons or an experienced athlete, this race is a local gem. Register here.
Longboat Key Triathlon and Duathlon – Saturday October 15
If you are looking for variety, this is your race. The Longboat Key Triathlon offers 4 different races to fit your needs: sprint triathlon, sprint duathlon, Olympic triathlon, and Olympic duathlon. The race is housed at The Resort at Longboat Key Club, and features a closed run course, flat and fast bike course through Longboat Key, and swim in the calm waters of the cove. Athletes receive a finishers medal and post-race food and drinks. Click here to register.