Walkers are welcome and encouraged to participate in all our events. A few years ago, we created the Clearwater 5K Walkathon, intended to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. Our hope is that people who have made New Year Resolutions to become more active, will target this non-competitive walk to help with their motivation, as it will be staged just three weeks into the year.
Marathon, Halfathon, and 5-Mile Walkers will be challenged by the multiple ascents over Clearwater Bridges, but will also be rewarded with wonderful water views. The roads open to traffic based on a 6 1/2 hour for the marathon (14:54 pace), and a 3-hour pace (13:45) for the halfathon and the 5-Miler from the 7:05 a.m. start. Athletes slower than that pace at various intervals will need to move to sidewalks and adhere to all pedestrian laws. For instance, walkers need to be at the Halfathon midpoint by 8:35 a.m., 90 minutes after the race start.
5K Walkathon walkers will enjoy a challenging hike over the Clearwater Bridge, along the causeway towards the beach, and a return back over the bridge to the finish line at Coachman Park. 5K Walkathon walkers can celebrate their commitment to the active lifestyle while waiting for the arrival of the halfathon and 5-miler finishers. This event will also serve as a fundraiser, with beneficiaries to be named. Since it is not a timed event, and to keep the entry fee low, the 5K Walkathon walkers will not get finisher medals, but will get the T-shirts.
Marathon walkers expecting to finish slower than 6 1/2 hours and Halfathon walkers expecting to finish slower than 3 hours will be REQUIRED to start early at 6:35 a.m., walking on the sidewalks until the field of runners pass by. Roads and intersections will NOT be closed until the lead runners pass.
These early starts allow halfathon walkers to arrive at the finish line no later than 10:05 a.m. and marathon walkers to arrive no later than 1:35 p.m. All parties benefit, as walkers can join the finish line festivities earlier, volunteers can leave their stations earlier, and the course is open to traffic earlier, keeping the inconvenience to residents at a minimum.
In addition to the self-satisfaction of reaching the finish line, all finishers in our marathon, halfathon, and 5-Miler earn one of our unique, running-starfish, gold medals. Fitness walkers in the marathon and halfathon are also eligible to be recognized as Florida Halfathon Series finishers, and will receive additional rewards.
Feedback From Our Walkers
This was my first 5k, and I walked in the fitness walk. My friend and I were the last two to finish that walk, and I was very happy to do that. Everything seemed to go well, I was very happy that you had a 5k walk. I just wish that there were more walks and some longer ones to progress to, thanks again for having a walk for those of us that are just starting to get in shape.
– Maurine Jones, Largo, FL
I was in Clearwater a few years back and did the marathon relay. I planned to return and do the entire marathon myself, but the race was cancelled. And so I waited. I was very excited at the prospect of doing the half AND the marathon this year. I have done the Goofy Challenge 5 times and thought a double-double in the same month would be a neat idea! Alas – the marathon disappeared once again. I was mightily disappointed and considered going somewhere else for a race. But I decided to go ahead and do the half marathon – and I am SO glad that I did! I was most impressed with the organization of the early start. I wasn’t in danger of taking more than 3:30, but a friend was and asked if I would walk with her. Beautiful course – great weather – and a wonderful place for an awards ceremony. I was really pleased with the food selection at the end and the aid stations along the course. There were definitely enough and the volunteers were great.
– Vicki Merry, Cantonment, FL
Thanks for another awesome race. I chose to walk to see what walking a half marathon was like in hopes to get my wife out next year. I was able to easily finish within the 4 hour time frame. There was plenty of water, Gatorade, and bathroom stops. What a great way to spend a weekend morning. Sign me up for next year.
– Allen Weatherilt, Clearwater, FL
Once again, another great race. I appreciate the fact that us walkers and “slow-pokes” are not only tolerated, but encouraged. I don’t know how you did it, but you must have had a direct line to the Big Runner Upstairs – the weather was absolutely perfect!! And the volunteers and law enforcement, as always, did a superlative job. Each time I have done this race, I have met great people. Keep up the good work, keep the beer flowing, and the traffic out of our way. Do these things, and the race will continue to grow. Thank you.
– Bob Petersen, Columbia, SC
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We’re located in the beautiful Tampa Bay area, staging races in St. Petersburg, Fort DeSoto Park, and Madeira Beach to Largo.
Our 2023-24 Season
Fort De Soto Distance Classic
15K, 10K, 5K & Virtual
Sunday, September 17, 2023
Fort De Soto Park
Downtown St. Pete