Sunday, October 28, 2018 • Port Orange, FL • Course Map
Palm trees, ocean breezes and waves crashing along the shoreline of this beach community just south of Florida’s famed Daytona Beach are the setting for the annual Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon & 5K, which indeed follows a loop course that takes runners out to see the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, which stands like a tall red sentry at the end of the island.
As you might expect for a race on a barrier island along Florida’s coastline, the terrain is nearly all fast and flat — there are a few changes in elevation here and there, some hills along the course, but really the elevation changes only from just above sea level to about 23 feet. Combined with what is expected to be cool, crisp weather on the morning of the race, it should offer runners an excellent chance at a personal record time.
Runners start the race at the Our Deck Down Under seafood restaurant near the southeast corner of Port Orange’s Dunlawton Bridge. From there, the course heads along the barrier island just south of Daytona Beach, taking runners along South Atlantic Avenue for about the race’s first six miles, nearly all the way to the Ponce Inlet and the Halifax River at the end of the island.
There, runners turn and head north along South Peninsula Drive all the way back to the Dunlawton Bridge, which they cross to get to the finish line on Halifax Drive. Just before they pass by Ponce de Leon Park, that’s when they run right in front of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, which dates back to 1883 and was originally known as the Mosquito Inlet Light.
At 175 feet high, it’s Florida’s tallest lighthouse and one of the tallest anywhere in the country, and when they’re done with the race, runners can come back down to the end of the island for a tour and climb its spiral staircase all the way to the top.
A special treat here is the museum’s “Climb to the Moon” tour, where you can toast the setting sun and rising full moon from atop the lighthouse, and the “Climb With the Keeper” tour, where you can take a tour of the lighthouse and lantern room with one of its old lighthouse keepers.
Organizers say they plan to place 10 water stations out on the course during the race, and that they usually have between 1,600 and 2,000 (or more) entrants sign up for the race. Walkers are welcome, but they are encouraged to sign up for the 5K.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the Atlantic coastline of central Florida, just south of Daytona Beach and about 60 miles northeast of Orlando, Port Orange typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in October, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 39°F (in 1937) and as high as 95°F (in 1959).
On race day (Oct. 28), the average low is 62ºF and the average high is 80ºF.
- 2017 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon Results
- 7:00 AM – half marathon
- 10:00 AM – 5K
- $60 – $85 for the half marathon
- $25 – $35 for the 5K
To reserve your spot in the 2018 running of the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
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