Plan your 2015 race calendar!
This is not an all-inclusive listing and has some out of town events listed along with local races. This is also just a listing for upcoming races from now to April, 2015. The one thing they have in common is that I have run them all and feel comfortable recommending them to you. As you select races, it is a good idea to ask fellow runners and get a feel for the event. Check the comments on Active.com or other websites. Look at Athlinks.com to see previous year’s results and you can check on the size of the event, the times and other runners who have done it so you know who to talk with. Researching your races is one of the best ways to ensure you spend your registration money on events you will enjoy. Please add comments to this post about upcoming races you would recommend to fellow runners. Also, refer to the RRCA guidelines for selecting a race. http://www.rrca.org/education-advocacy/buyer-beware/
January 24th– Matanzas 5K, St Augustine. One of the fastest, most competitive 5K races in the state. If you’re looking for a PR time on a flat course with a well-run event, this is your race. http://www.matanzas5k.com/
January 31st-Newnan’s Lake 15K, Gainesville. One of the oldest running events in the area with over 34 years of history. This is a flat course, a well-organized event and is a nice stepping stone to a Half Marathon later in the season. http://www.lloydclarkesports.com/images/2015_Newnans_Lake.pdf
February 8th– Tallahassee Marathon. This is a flat marathon course which I found surprising in Tallahassee! It is a great smaller-scale marathon, similar in size and feel to the Five Points races. They always have cool speakers at the expo and it finishes at the FSU track. http://www.tallahasseemarathon.com/
February 14th -15th– Five Points of Life Races: Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K, Gainesville. The largest running event in town with an expo and lots of runners. Not super-fast courses for the Half Marathon or Marathon but you get to see a lot of Gainesville and run through Ben Hill Griffin Stadium! http://www.fivepointsoflife.com/race/registration/
February 21st-22nd– Gasparilla Distance Classic, Tampa, FL. Pick from a half marathon, 15K, 8K or 5K. This race weekend features pirate themed medals, a huge expo and everything you’d expect to find at a major national event. The courses are all along Tampa Bay so the scenery is nice and the elevation change is minimal. http://www.tampabayrun.com/
March 7th– Race the Tortoise 5K, High Springs. Still looking for that fast 5K time that you almost hit at Matanzas? Here’s your shot! There are some slight inclines but this out and back course is pretty fast. Cool tortoise trophies for the winners and a good breakfast after the run. https://www.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=2980
March 14th– Gate River Run 15K, Jacksonville. This is a mega-race with 20,000 runners, a huge expo and tons of fun surrounding the race. It is worth the trip to Jacksonville for this national class event. If you don’t feel like driving, take a bus with the Florida Track Club. http://www.gate-riverrun.com/
March 14th– Run for Haven 10K & 5K, Gainesville. If you’d rather not run in the massive crowd at River Run, this is a great local race that benefits Haven Hospice. A scenic course through Town of Tioga with a fantastic party atmosphere after the run is a great way to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day! http://www.havenhospice.org/haven-run.aspx
March 28th– Trail of Payne, Gainesville. Run through the woods at Payne’s Prairie for a challenging trail 10K. Getting out into nature with a little dirt and mud feels good! http://www.active.com/micanopy-fl/running/trail-run-races/trail-of-payne-10k-2015?int=
April 11th– Flatwoods 5K, Gainesville. Not quite ready for a full trail experience like Trail of Payne? Here’s a nice one! The course is a lime rock road loop through beautiful Austin Carey Forest. You are lucky to run out on the trails because they are not open to the public! A fun event, beautiful scenery for the run and awesome pinecone trophies!
April 18th– Sweet H2O 50K, Lithia Springs, GA. For the trail runners who really want to get out into beautiful wilderness for a long time, this is your event! 31 miles of challenging trails with 2 creek crossings and some spectacular views. It is a short road trip away, just NW of Atlanta. http://www.dcrr.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=157961&module_id=43382
April 22nd– LGAA 5K, Gainesville. Join some fun loving runners at Ironwood Golf course for a weekday 5K! We run some on grass, some cart path and finish up at the clubhouse where you get a full BBQ dinner and $1 beers. Gather a team and compete in the team challenge. http://www.active.com/gainesville-fl/running/distance-running-races/lgaa-5k-and-corporate-team-challenge-2015