Sunday, March 25, 2012
Set for its inaugural running in the late winter of 2011 here in this central Florida town that lies just north of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, the all-new Dade City Half Marathon, 5K & Fun Run is part of a series of half marathon race events in smaller and medium-sized towns and cities across the country throughout the year.
Staged by the USRA Half Marathon series -- which also hosts events in cities from Bentonville, Ark., to Dalton, Ga., to Council Bluffs, Iowa -- the race follows an out-and-back loop course that starts and finishes along Dade City's Meridian Avenue, just a few blocks down the street from its Hugh Embry Library.
From there, the course takes runners westward along Meridian until the intersection with St. Joe Road, where runners keeping heading west as the road becomes St. Joe and then turns right and heads north into the Mountain View neighborhood. Here the course features one of its few rises in elevation, as the hills around the mile 2 marker rise about 100 feet in elevation.
Runners remain on the road (Ramsey Road) until it meets up with Blanton Road, where they follow Blanton and keep heading north until meeting up with Spring Valley Road, where they turn left and head west toward the lakes near Blanton Lake Park. The race route then loops around Spring Valley Road as it turns north, and then runners turn right again and head east and then south along Blanton, following the road as it curves around to the intersection with Frazee Hill Road.
The route then turns left onto Frazee Hill Road, which runners follow for roughly the next mile and a half or so until meeting up with 14th Street, where they turn right and begin the home stretch of the 13.1-mile course, which brings them back toward Dade City. The course then heads into the city center and back to Meridian Street for the race finish.
As with most events in the USRA Half Marathon series, runners looking to take part in this race should expect a smaller event without lots of spectators, but also a chance to mark an excellent time as the race features paved surfaces throughout and only a few uphill and downhill stretches, none of which are dramatic changes in elevation.
Weather & Climate
Located along the western edge of central Florida's Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area, just over 40 miles northeast of Tampa, Dade City typically experiences mild to moderately warm weather conditions in the late winter season, with drier weather in winter than in the spring and summer months, when rainfall is much heavier. In February, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 75°F and 50°F -- on the day of the race (Feb. 6), the average high is 73°F and the average low is 49°F -- while rainfall totals average just under 3.4 inches for the month.
To reserve your spot in the winter 2011 running of Florida's Dade City Half Marathon, 5K or Fun Run race, register online at Active.com.
Marathon Course Map
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