Sunday, January 21, 2018 • 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 Halfathon will mark its 19th annual running in 2018, and is joined by a full marathon, 50K, 5-mile and 5K race.
All races start at Clearwater’s Coachman Park, a 20-acre park that overlooks the blue waters of the Clearwater Harbor and is the site each year of the city’s Clearwater Jazz Holiday and the Christmas Under the Oaks Arts Festival.
From there, runners follow the out-and-back course first around the streets of downtown just outside the park, and then begin their ascent of the Clearwater Memorial Bridge over the harbor, under the shade of palm trees with the rising morning sun on the horizon.
Once over the bridge, runners then follow the course as it winds through the streets of Clearwater Beach Island and across the Gulf Boulevard bridge over to Sand Key Island, taking runners through Sand Key County Park and to the turnaround point on Gulf Blvd., where the field then begins the trek back toward the finish line.
While most of the course is fast and flat (this is Florida, after all) and is run on paved surfaces, the bridges are probably the most challenging points along the course, and feature the biggest changes in elevation — which last for a good long stretch, as the Clearwater Memorial Bridge spans nearly a mile and a half.
After the bridges (each of which participants cross twice), 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 5-mile race.
There is a 3-hour course limit for both runners and walkers — so slower walkers are permitted and encouraged to start their race at 6:35 AM — as the course will be re-opened to traffic after 10:00 AM.
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. 21), the average low is 50°F and the average high is 71°F.
- 2016 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Clearwater Half Marathon Results
- 7:05 AM – marathon, half marathon, 5-mile, 5K
- $75 – $110 for the half marathon
To reserve your spot in any of the races at the 2018 running of the Clearwater Distance Classic, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Clearwater Distance Classic? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.