9 upcoming races to conquer

On your marks . . . get set . . . go have a great time racing at these nine races, from 5Ks to full marathons. 

Well, have fun racing some of them. A few of the runs overlap so unless you’ve got Flash-like abilities, I’d stick with one 10K a day. 

Most of the events are less than an hour drive from Gainesville with a couple of races further away. 

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This is not an exhaustive list. Other Gainesville and Alachua County races will happen in the coming months as well. You can find more races here

Race the Tortoise 5K in High Springs on March 5 

Race Titus the Tortoise at O’Leno State Park in High Springs on March 5 at the Race the Tortoise 5K. 

Hosted by the Friends of O’Leno State Park, all proceeds go to the park and the race course follows the main park road. The race includes prizes and awards in 15 age categories along with best overall male and female. 

This year’s tickets also include a hot breakfast ticket along with the official race t-shirt. 

The race also has a “Run Your Own 5K” option. Participants still get a shirt and participant medal but can visit the park to run whenever they want. 

Ticket prices: 

  • Before Feb. 21—$25
  • From Feb. 22 to race day—$30
  • 14 and under—-$10
  • Run Your Own 5K—$20

Find more information at the race website.

LGAA 5K Charity Team Challenge in Gainesville on March 12 

Runners will alternate between from path and grass on the Ironwood Golf Course in a race hosted by the Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association. 

A 5 p.m. start, the race boast a nice price for the fastest three teams: 

  • $350 to the fastest team
  • $300 for second fastest team
  • $250 for the third fastest team
  • $300 for the team with the most runners

The winnings go to the team’s choice of charity, and all proceeds from the event go to LGAA’s grant and scholarship programs. 

After the race, runners can enjoy food, music and beer. Registration costs $30 for those 15 and older and $10 for kids aged 3-14.

Find details on the race page

Trail of Payne 10K in Micanopy on March 26 

If you train, then hopefully the Payne will only represent where you run and not what you feel. 

This 10K boasts a variety of surfaces—from pavement, packed dirt, sand and potential mud—as you wind through Paynes Prairie. Runners will be on trails most of the race, some straight others winding, some narrow and others wide open. 

The organizers warn that runners should be prepared for some off-roading depending on the weather leading up to the race as the course could be quite muddy. 

The race starts at 8:30 a.m. Tickets cost $50 until March 24, and day of registration is $60 with no t-shirt guarantee. 

Register and find more information at the race website

Vilano Bridge 5K & 10K Run in St. Augustine on April 2 

Enjoy the incredible view as you run across the Vilano Bridge in the 25th edition this St. Augustine race. 

With an 8 a.m. start, runners will have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities at the post-run celebration at the North Shores Community Park, including drawings, music, food and a 1-mile fun run right after the 5K. 

Half the proceeds go to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. 

Ticket information: 

  • 10K Race
    • $35 until Feb. 28
    • $40 from March 1 to 19
    • $45 from March 20 to race day
  • 5K Race
    • $30 until Feb. 28
    • $35 from March 1 to 19
    • $40 from March 20 to race day
  • 1-Mile Fun Run
    • $10 from now to race day

Check out the race’s website for more information

Tough Mudder in Jacksonville on April 2-3

Need more of a challenge than a simple 10K, try the Tough Mudder at its new Jacksonville location. This nationwide racing competition includes obstacles along the way. 

The race offers a 15K with 30 obstacles, a 10K with 20 obstacles, a 5K with 13 obstacles and a kids race for 5- to 12-year-olds. 

Tickets are already getting limited and prices rise on March 31. Register online

If you want to tackle the Tough Mudder but need more time to train, another race will come to Central Florida in December. The location is still undetermined. 

Headwaters 5K and Club Breakfast in Gainesville on April 9

Run by the Florida Track Club, the race is free for club members and $15 for everyone else. The start is at the Hogtown Creek Headwaters Park 

Register and find parking info online

Let’s Flamingle Race in Ocala on April 9 

For those interested in the fun as much as the run, this is probably the race for you, offering a 5K, 10K and half marathon. 

Hosted by AWESOMESAUCE, the course is a 2.6 mile paved loop for all three lengths and starts at 7:30 a.m.

Tickets cost $50 for the half marathon, $45 for the 10K and $40 for the 5K with price increases after Feb. 28. 

Find lots of information on the race and the organizer’s racing philosophy online. 

Run Your Buns Off in Hawthorne on April 10

A 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, runners will start in Hawthorne and run along the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail.

The smaller two distances will have an out and back course while the half and full marathoners will run 6.55 mile loops.

Besides your t-shirt, registration includes a bun-shaped medal and an actual iced cinnamon bun from Paneras.

Both the half and full marathons are USATF-certified races with the full marathon being a Boston Qualifier.

Tickets are $30 for the 5K, $40 for the 10K, $50 for the Half and $60 for the Full with price increases after March 25.

Get more information about the races online

Spud Run 5K, 10K and 15K Challenge in Hastings on May 7 

This agriculture-related run crops up in St. Johns County and benefits Future Farmers of America, 4-H and Farm City Week.

An important note for the 15K Challenge: it’s not a continuous run. 15K runners will start with the 10K at 7 a.m. and have an hour and a half to complete the race. Then they join the 5K runners for its racetime start of 8:30 a.m.

15K Challenge runners will have their combined race times used for the 15K, but their 5K and 10K times will also qualify for those race awards as well as the 15K race awards. 

Ticket information: 

  • 5K
    • 5K until Feb. 28—$25
    • 5K during March—$30
    • 5K during April—$35
    • 5K during May—$40
  • 10K
    • 10K until Feb. 28—$35
    • 10K during March—$40
    • 10K during April—$45
    • 10K during May—$50
  • 15K Challenge
    • 15K Challenge until Feb. 28—$45
    • 15K Challenge during March—$50
    • 15K Challenge during April—$55
    • 15K Challenge during May—$60

Find more details at the race’s website


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