Saturday, March 12, 2016 • Dade City, FL • Course Map
The wild, untamed beauty of central Florida’s Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is the setting for the annual late winter running of the Dances With Dirt Green Swamp races, which feature both a full and a half marathon in addition to the event’s annual 50K, 50-Mile Run and five-person 50-mile team relay races.
The race unfolds through a 110,000-acre wilderness area bounded by sandhills, oak trees, river swamp areas and cypress ponds of the variety found only in Florida. This flat region also is part of an even larger (560,000 acres) region of central Florida, known for its wetlands, flatlands and low ridges.
While most of the course features very flat terrain through the brush and along the trails that wind through Green Swamp, the race organizers also add in some very challenging sections (which they call “stupid sections”!) to keep runners on their toes and add to the event’s sense of adventure, as this is definitely not like most races.
Runners can expect to find well-marked trails along the race route, bounded by overhanging tree limbs and vegetation of all varieties, and usually plenty of sunshine to make the race a warm one.
The half marathon features an out-and-back loop course that starts and finishes at the entrance to the park just off Auton Road, which runners reach via Enterprise Road, from Florida Highway 35 east of Dade City.
From there, the course takes runners first southward for nearly a five-mile loop south of the starting line, along which runners can expect plenty of trail brush and junk to hop over as they run, including cypress tree knees sticking out from the ground.
After the first loop section, runners then head back northward toward the starting line, which they pass on the way out onto Withlacoochee Boulevard. Runners then follow the road northward to Auton Road, where they turn right and head northeast along Auton until the left turn on Cedar Pocket Road, where they head west only for a brief stretch before heading back onto the trail section of the race.
Nearly all of the rest of the race will be on the trails back in to the finish line, and feature some river and swamp crossings on the way to completing the race’s 13.1 miles.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in central Florida, just west of the Green Swamp and roughly 40 miles northeast of Tampa, Dade City typically experiences very mild to moderately warm weather conditions in the late winter season, and usually much drier weather in the winter than in the summer.
In March, temperatures average between 54°F and 79°F, while precipitation amounts average just over 4 inches. On the day of the race (March 12), the average low is 53°F and the average high is 78°F.
- 2015 DWD Green Swamp Half Marathon Results
- 2014 DWD Green Swamp Half Marathon Results
- 2013 DWD Green Swamp Half Marathon Results
- 2012 DWD Green Swamp Half Marathon Results
- 7:00 AM – 50K
- 9:00 AM – half marathon
- 10:00 AM – 10K
- $49 for the half marathon, if registered by February 10, 2016
- $59 between February 11 – March 9 at 12 noon
- $70 on race weekend
To reserve your spot in any of the race distances at the 2016 running of Dade City’s Dances With Dirt Green Swamp trail race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Dances With Dirt Green Swamp trail race? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.