4,100+ Runners Compete in the 20th Anniversary Key West Half Marathon and 5K Race

 In Key West Half Marathon

(Key West, FL) – Record low temperatures for the 20th Anniversary Key West Half Marathon and 5K Race on Sunday, January 14th was no deterrent to more than 4,100 runners, who were nonetheless treated to a beautiful, scenic course through historic Old Town and the eventual appearance of sunshine.

“We lost some of our runners from N.J. because of a late night at the Green Parrot and others who decided to defer because of the enticing Key West nightlife!” said Barbara Wright, event founder and co-organizer.

Called “One of 14 Best Destination Half Marathons”, Key West drew runners from all U.S. states and other participants traveled from 31 countries — from Europe to the Caribbean and South America to the Pacific. Top finishers were: Half Marathon — Overall Male: Matt Bell (Medford, NJ) 1:13:28; Gene Reale (Jacksonville, FL) 1:18:38; Patrick Edwards (Columbus, OH) 1:18:48. Overall Female: Jennifer Absher (Melbourne, FL) 1:27:57; Jennifer Bodnar (Candler, NC) 1:28:51; Nicole McNamara (Smithtown, NY) 1:30:46. 5K Run – Overall Male: Robert Pedroza (Key West, FL) 17:44; Edward Clarke (Key West, FL) 19:44; Michael Krause (Tonawanda, NY) 19:55. Overall Female: Brenda Huebscher (Key West, FL) 23:21; Kathy Jackson (Hollywood, FL) 24:32; Kris Good (Ann Arbor, MI) 24:44.

Additionally, awards were given to top winners in age groups and other Masters. Unique Key West Lighthouse finisher medals were given in both races.

Along the course, Ross Brown, Frankendread, Barry Cuda , Shanty Hounds, Brian Fields, Island Time Duo, Richie Ciavalino, Jeep & Bubba, Aaron Fowler, Island Alex and other local entertainers treated all of the out-of-state visitors to Key West’s brand of local color and live music. Some of the Key West High School Band played on the White Street Pier and participants loved it!

Back at its original home, Half Shell Raw Bar, the after-party featured the island sounds of Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 band. Awards, raffles, and drink specials all made for a lively finish.

Local charities benefit, as well. Partial Race proceeds go to Key West Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Fund, Florida Keys Community College Youth Swim Program, Zonta of Key West, and Key West High School and Horace O’Bryant Middle School athletic programs HOB One World One Canvas, Key West Southernmost Castaways, Navy 2nd Class Petty Officer Association, Coast Guard Committee, First State Bank, Key West Police Explorers, Sigsbee Charter School, Connie Pierson and the Boyd’s Campground. WE ALSO WANT TO THANK ALL OUR WONDERFUL RETIRED MILITARY VOLUNTEERS, MANY WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS! and many more.

“Also, it’s heartwarming that our runners contributed more than $20,000 to the local Habitat for Humanity to help with Irma damage,” Barb added. “It’s testament that many participants have a love for The Keys and are very, very generous. We want to thank our many charitable partners!”

Palm trees…sand…beautiful scenery…. All reasons to escape winter and come to an ideal location for a Half Marathon and 5K! Set your training goals for next year — Sunday, January 20th, 2019. Early Birds receive a discount if they register through Active.com.

Thank you to our sponsors, including Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council, Half Shell Raw Bar, Turtle Kraals Restaurant & Tower Bar, Keys Auto Center (part of the Warren Henry Auto Group), Altra Footwear, Shipyard Brewing Company, Ice-Pik Vodka, Margaritaville Resort & Marina, Southernmost Beach Resort, The Marker Key West Resort, Honey Stinger Gels, Maple Water, Hydra Thunder, Sunshine Scooters and many Key West businesses that donated in-kind.

For complete results, visit keywesthalfmarathon.com. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, call Barbara Wright at (305) 240-0727.

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