FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon weekend will return December 6-8, 2019 with a consolidated route designed to elevate the energy of race day and with a revised Friday night schedule that will feature the Bill Bone 5K and 10K as glow runs on a tree-lighted course along the water on Flagler Drive.
The featured Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay will be held Sunday December 8 beginning at 6 a.m. on a course which spotlights the picturesque backdrop of Flagler Drive.
The Friday night events begin downtown at 6:30 p.m. by the Meyer Amphitheater with runners navigating a glowing course along the Intracoastal with the help of lights scattered on the course and magical glow zones under the Royal Park Bridge.
Friday night’s runners will also find glow products such as bracelets and necklaces included their goody bags at the start of the festivities and participants are being further encouraged to dress up in their favorite glow outfit or brightest neon gear. Illuminated volunteers will help guide the way.
“Friday night will be the kickoff to a great weekend for all of the runners and walkers in our community,” said FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon owner Kenneth R. Kennerly, whose K2 Road Sports acquired the FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon three years ago. “We wanted to inject even more fun into the Friday night events. There is nothing like the evening setting downtown in December with the Sandy Tree and lights of the holidays. By converting the Friday night races into glow runs it should make it an even more enjoyable evening for everybody involved.”
The additional tinkering with the Marathon course was done to make the experience more favorable for runners and their supporters.
Runners like the water views of Flagler Drive. So rather than start the race with a 2 1/2 mile loop through vacant downtown streets, runners will take off straight north along the Intracoastal Waterway on Flagler Drive and then loop back to the Downtown area. A southern leg predominantly along Flagler Drive stops just north of Southern Blvd. and then winds back north toward the Half Marathon finish line. Before the finish area near the Meyer Amphitheatre, Marathon distance runners will veer off through downtown West Palm Beach and then head north again on Flagler Drive to the Manatee Lagoon before turning back south.
Spectators like to see their favorite runners. The course adjustment will allow them to cheer their runners of choice multiple times during the race, three times for Half Marathoners (the Start, the middle pass through the race village area and the finish) and five times for those running the full Marathon. Entertainment will be centralized around the start/finish line and the Amphitheatre, further enhancing the viewing experience.
The track will remain fast and flat and capable of turning out some of the quickest times in the country if weather cooperates because of the absence of bridges on the course. The race presents a great opportunity for runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon or record personal best times. The lure of waterside beauty and optimal running conditions will also bring runners nationwide and from a multitude of international countries to one of the most unique experiences among distance races around the state and country.
“We will have one of the premier Marathon and Half Marathon courses in the country,” Kennerly said. “We want runners to be able to run their best and have the greatest time imaginable along the way. And we want to increase the energy and experience for spectators so that everyone can enjoy everything we have to offer in Palm Beach County.”
A Health and Fitness Expo which will coincide with packet pickup will be held Friday December 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday December 7 from 10:00 am – 6:00 p.m. at a location to be determined. The Expo will feature the latest in health and fitness products and services, running apparel, and upcoming race information.
The fun atmosphere will again be accentuated on Marathon race day with the return of the traditional Wacky Water Stations, another element that makes The FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon a unique experience. Area charities and homeowners groups will man themed stations throughout the course. The groups will receive $200 toward their charity for participating and the most creative water station will receive a $1000 prize.
Runners who want to band together to form four-person teams can participate in the Relay Division of the race. There will be awards for Men, Women, Co-ed and Grand Masters teams.
The FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon is again produced by K2 Road Sports, a division of K2 Sports Ventures LLC that is owned by Kennerly, also the Executive Director of The Honda Classic PGA TOUR event in Palm Beach Gardens.
FITTEAM, a Palm Beach Gardens based healthy lifestyle company, and Jupiter Medical Center return as major sponsors.
Registration is open online at fitteampalmbeachesmarathon.com at $110 for the Marathon, $90 for the Half Marathon, $60 for the 10K and $40 for the 5K.
Packages for entry into the 5K and 10K as well as one of the Sunday races are also available.
The race is also seeking volunteers to work on race day. Anyone interested can email [email protected]