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Beach Marathon

10/03/2013 at 1:27pm

Beach MarathonBeach Marathon Coming in November

Fort Myers Beach will join the legions of cities around the world that have hosted marathon racing – Honolulu, London, Berlin, Boston, Chicago – as the Ted Todd Fort Myers Beach Marathon debuts the weekend of November 9th and 10th.

The weekend full of running events is sponsored by Ted Todd Insurance, Pink Shell Resort & Marina, Florida National Guard, Fit2Run, Lee County Sports Authority, WINK News, Allstate and Greenlayer.

The weekend is full of events for runners of all ages and abilities. The marathon, 26.2 miles, and the half-marathon races will be held on Sunday, November 10thwith a 7am start time. A marathon relay race has recently been added to the day’s events. Relay teams consist of four runners that each runs a quarter of the marathon. The course will take runners from the starting line near Nervous Nellie’s over the bridge, along San Carlos Boulevard and then Summerlin Road toward Lakes Park.

Sunday will also include a 5K race for those looking for a shorter race.

Eident Racing is coordinating the weekend’s events. An event management and sports marketing company, they have worked with events ranging from marathons to triathlons, golf tournaments and several Olympics. Eident Racing President, John Mathews is excited to bring the marathon to Fort Myers Beach.

"This will be the only full distance marathon in Southwest Florida –the first one! Fort Myers Beach is such an iconic place, this is a great place to hold a marathon.”

He expects over 1,500 runners to participate in races that weekend.

"Runners are coming from all over the country for this race.”

Mathews has been working with public safety agencies to assure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. He admits that he’s heard from a lot of people who would like to see participants running Estero Boulevard the length of the island, but that is not in the plans this first year of the race.

A new race, Survival Beach Fort Myers, will be held on the beach on Saturday, November 9th. This is an obstacle course run of about 3 miles. Similar in distance to a 5K, this race will include running challenges that you won’t find in many 5K races, such as running through sand and water, over and under obstacles. Mathews explained that the race is meant to be a challenge.

"This is not a straight 5K. Most survival races are pretty tough. There are obstacles and terrain and other challenges that runners have to deal with – that’s why we call it a ‘survival’ race."

The Survival Beach race will be based at Pink Shell Resort & Marina with the race course including a pass through Bowditch Point Park before ending on the beach in front of the Pink Shell.

Survival races have become quite popular across the country. Often called mudder or warrior races, runners enjoy the challenges they offer and the fun factor, often wearing costumes during the race, though whether Beach Survival runners will do so remains to be seen.

A runner’s Expo will be held November 8-10th for runners as they pick up their race packets. Local businesses are invited to participate with discounts for Chamber members. For more information, call 239-431-8366.

Proceeds from the Ted Todd Fort Myers Beach Marathon will benefit these non-profit organizations: American Heart Association, Able Academy and Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Registration for race events remains open at www.fortmyersmarathon.com. A registration discount is available-see the ad in the Pirate Fest guide in this week’s paper. Online registration will close at 6pm on November 6th. After that registration will only be available the day of the event. The race course and other information is also available online.

Islanders can be part of this inaugural event whether by running or cheering runners along the course and at the finish line on Old San Carlos Blvd. Be a part of the first ever Fort Myers Beach Marathon!

Missy Layfield