It’s that time of year again! Time to set goals, eat healthy, exercise, and become a new and improved version of ourselves.
And time for another local race guide! Whether you are a seasoned runner, a new runner, or a wannabe runner, I have compiled some upcoming races from January to May to help you achieve your fitness goals for 2018.
Shorter Distance Races – 5k/10k
Ringling Bridge Run – Saturday, January 13th
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 is a great race for anyone who has done a 5k but wants a little extra challenge. The YMCA also provides childcare during the race! Registration for 4 miles is $35 and 1 mile is $20. All proceeds benefit the Sarasota YMCA’s youth and family programs.
Achieva Run for Good 5k – Saturday, January 17th
For people looking to run for a cause, this run helps provide classroom grants for local schools. Along with the 5k, there is a 1/2 mile Kids Run and a 1/2 mile Dog Walk. The race is held at Payne Park, and entrance fees are $25 for adults and $10 for kids and dog owners. Kids Run finishers all receive medals, and awards are given 6-deep by age group for the 5k. As an added bonus there is a dog costume contest! Click here to register.
Bridge-a-Life Superhero 5k and Fun Run – Saturday, February 17th
This is a great race for the whole family to get involved in! Benefiting Bridge-a-Life and raising awareness about foster care needs in the community, runners in this race are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero. Not only are awards given out for top finishers in each age group, but there are also trophies for best super hero, best super hero family, fastest super hero in costume, and even best super hero pet! Food and entertainment are provided after the race, making this a great event for families. Register here.
Take Stock in Children 10k/5k and Fun Run – Sunday, March 4th
The competition in this race heats up as many local Manatee County schools take part in order to win a scholarship for one of their students. The scholarship is awarded based on number of participants, and as a result you may also sign up for this race as a virtual runner. You can run the race at a different time and still help a student earn a scholarship! Runners of all three distances will start and finish on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Registration ranges from $15 to $40 based on your race distance and age. Register here and don’t forget to select your local school!
Robinson Preserve 10k/5k – Friday, March 23rd
Robinson Preserve is an evening run through the gorgeous scenery of the Preserve. You can choose your distance from 5k ($40), 10k ($45) or 1k ($15). You will run on paved and shell trails, and over several wooden boardwalks as you keep your eyes peeled for birds and jumping fish. This year you can be among the first to run through the preserve’s new 15 acre expansion before it opens to the public! The popular chip-timed race has five corrals based on your estimated finish time so everyone can run comfortably at their own pace. The after party features catered food, live music, and adult beverages. Register here.
Great Mother’s Day Race 5k – Saturday, May 12th
What better way to kick off your Mother’s Day weekend than with a family 5k on the beautiful beach of Siesta Key! Walk or run by yourself or with your entire family and create lasting memories. Race participants receive free race pictures, dry-fit shirts, and finisher medals. You can also participate as a virtual runner! Registration is $28 for adults, $23 for kids age 8-14.
Longer Distance Races – 10k/Half Marathon
Sarasota Music Half Marathon and Rockin’ 10k – Sunday, February 4th
I think this race is the most entertaining one around. The race course takes you over the Ringling Bridge to St. Armand’s Circle, then back over the bridge with more water views, and through nearby Sarasota neighborhoods. True to its name, you will pass live music 42 times during the Sarasota Music Half and 20 times during the Rockin’ 10k. Additional perks include a Girl Scout cookie mile and a beer mile. Post-race brunch is provided by Mattison’s Bayside, along with more live music and a beer garden. All racers receive a medal and race shirt. Registration is $110 for the half and $55 for the 10k. This race usually sells out, so register today!
Shark’s Tooth 10k – Saturday, March 3rd
This is a great chip-timed 10k race located in Venice, the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. The shark tooth theme carries through in the tech race shirts, finisher medals, and even the shape of the course! When the race is over you can enjoy music, door prizes, and a post race party. You can also bring your race bib and receive free entry to the 25th Annual Shark’s Tooth Festival on any of the festival days! When you register you can choose from a regular registration ($39) or a premium ($49) which includes socks. For more information or to sign up click here.
Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay – Sunday, March 18th
One of Sarasota’s most popular and unique race opportunities, the Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay begins at Van Wezel. The route takes you over the Ringling Bridge to St. Armand’s Circle and back, and then winds through beautiful Sarasota neighborhoods with plenty of water views. You can run the whole 13.1 miles, or split it with a friend and create a two-person relay team. First Watch provides breakfast at the conclusion of the race, and free beer is available for racers. You also get a dry-fit tech shirt and medal included in your registration fees ($105 for half, $135 for relay). If you want a local race that will challenge you, this is it! Click here to register.
5k Color Blast Sarasota – Saturday, January 20th
If you are looking for a more low-key race and just want to have fun with friends and family, the 5k Color Blast might be for you. Located at Nathan Benderson Park, you will get blasted with color while you run! The race begins at 12:30 with a color dance party after. Registration is $35.00.
United Way Suncoast Obstacle Course Race – Saturday, February 3rd
If you are looking for something more than a run, this race is for you! Racers will complete more than a dozen obstacles as they run approximately 3 miles. You can compete individually ($60) or as part of a 4-person team ($220). Select your wave start time when you register. Proceeds benefit programs and services in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
SUP & Run 5k – Saturday, May 19th
SUP=Stand Up Paddleboard, and in this race you can do just that! The SUP & Run 5k held at Nathan Benderson Park is actually three different races. Compete in the family-friendly 5k run around the lake, rent or bring your own paddleboard for the SUP 5k in the water, or for an even greater challenge do both! Participants receive shirts and finisher medals, and get to participate in a great after party with live music. Registration is $35 for one race or $80 for both (board rental extra), and the race benefits wounded veterans through Operation Second Chance.
*** Please note that all registration costs were accurate at the time of publishing, but many increase as the race date draws near. Please verify the actual cost upon registering!