32nd Annual Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race Set for July 24, 2021


KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Runners and paddleboarders are invited to participate in the Hemingway 5K Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race, to be held Saturday, July 24th. The races take place in Old Town Key West, hosting runners, fitness walkers and paddleboard enthusiasts testing their skills and celebrating Ernest Hemingway’s sporting lifestyle. The longest on-going race in Key West, the Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race was rated in 2018 #3 on Active.com’s list of top ten international destination races to turn into a vacation.

The well-established athletic challenges are part of Hemingway Days, a commemoration of the life and work of the author who lived and wrote in Key West for most of the 1930s. 

“We’ve heard from so many participants, who are super excited that we’re having the actual event again!" said organizer Barbara Wright. “It’s held on a hot summer night here, but the great thing is participants can jump in the beautiful Key West waters to cool off after the race!”

Because participants spend the weekend here at the destination races, plenty of fun extracurricular activities are listed on the keywesthalfmarathon.com Website, including a free rum raffle and a Hemingway Trivia Hunt.

The Paddleboard Race will kick off at 5:00 p.m. at the island city’s Southernmost Beach, 1405 Duval St. on the Atlantic Ocean. A 3-mile ocean course will challenge paddlers before they finish back at the beach. (Visit keywesthalfmarathon.com for rental information, including discounts.)

This year, at 7:30 p.m., the popular 5K Run/Walk will begin at Truman Annex Waterfront Park, end of Southard Street. Picturesque Old Town Key West is the setting, with landmarks including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Green Parrot Bar, the Key West Lighthouse, and Custom House as runners complete the fast, flat 3.1-mile course. 

On race day, a registration booth will be open from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at Truman Waterfront Park. (Paddleboarders need to register between 3:00 and 4:00, to allow enough time to go to the start.) Race packets, bibs and collectible tech shirts can be picked up there. All finishers will receive a medal.

Local favorite watering holes will be offering specials or discounts, and more fun activities are available, such as a pre-race Sip, Shop, & a Show at Sea, Key West Watersports Company, 720 B Caroline St., from 3:00-6:00 on race day, admission discount on the USCGC Ingham, and a free rum raffle at Key West Legal Rum Distillery. On Sunday, from 9:00-9:45 a.m., Salute to the Sol Yoga at the Truman Waterfront is for all levels and will provide relaxing recovery of sore muscles. Visit keywesthalfmarathon.com for more information.

Interested participants can register online at Active.com or download registration forms by visiting keywestspecialevents.com

For those who want even more of a challenge, the now-established tradition of riding bikes from Sombrero Beach to Key West is available. Bikers aim to arrive in time to also run the 5K. Visit keylargobike.com for details.

Proceeds benefit Key West Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Fund and the FKCC Youth Swim Program. Sponsored in part by Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Southernmost Beach Resort, Opal Key Resort & Marina, Lazy Dog Adventures, Sea, Key West, Salute to the Sol, and Elite Caribbean Island Resorts.

More information: Barb Wright (305) 240-0727 or visit keywesthalfmarathon.com.