Sunday, January 29, 2023 • Clearwater, FL • Course Map
First run in 2006 as a replacement for the Florida Gulf Beaches Marathon race, which had to be suspended due to road construction along the course that had been used for the event, the Clearwater Running Festival will mark its 24th annual running in 2023, and is joined by a full marathon and 50K ultra, plus a 5K race on Saturday.
All races start at Clearwater’s Sand Key Park, a 95-acre park that overlooks the blue waters of the Clearwater Pass and plays host to Clearwater’s artificial reef program and natural communities.
From there, runners follow the loop course first across the beach and almost immediately across two bridges: first the Gulf Boulevard Bridge, then the Clearwater Memorial Bridge, before heading to the mainland and downtown Clearwater, under the shade of palm trees with the rising morning sun on the horizon.
The course then takes runners south through nearby Belleair, with sprawling mansions on one side of and the waterfront on the other side for much of this section.
Once over the third and final bridge of the course — the Belleair Causeway — runners then follow the course as it winds through the streets of Clearwater Beach Island to the finish line back at Sand Key Park.
While most of the course is fast and flat (this is Florida, after all) and is run on paved surfaces, the mainland section probably the most challenging points along the course, and feature the biggest changes in elevation — which last for a good long stretch at over a third of the race.
After the mainland and the bridges, the rest of the course is flat. Race organizers say that fitness walkers are encouraged to come out and participate in either the half marathon or the 5K race.
There’s no time limit for half marathoners, but full marathon runners must finish the 26.2 miles in 7 hours, 30 minutes. Runners in the 50K must reach mile 15 by 3 hours, 40 minutes.
Race Weather & Climate
Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast near St. Petersburg, Clearwater features typically mild Florida winters, and runners should expect some chill in the morning on the day of the race.
In January, temperatures in Clearwater average between 50°F and 70°F. On the day of the race (Jan. 29), the average low is 50°F and the average high is 71°F.
- 2022 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2021 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2020 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2019 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 7:00 AM – marathon, half marathon, 50K
- $75 – $105 for the half marathon
- $90 – $130 for the full marathon
- $100 – $140 for the 50K ultra
To reserve your spot in any of the races at the 2023 running of the Clearwater Running Festival, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Clearwater Running Festival? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.