The Ragnar 2013 Season Opener Jan. 4-5 had multiple teams running from Miami to the tip of the Florida Keys, for fun. This 199-mile running event allows teams of up to 12 members to run as far south as they can go in the continental U.S., near the ocean, and across the southern end of the state of Florida. Runners crossed a minimum of 43 bridges including the Seven Mile Bridge, and passed through popular destinations such as Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon Key and Big Pine Key. Six thousand participant registered.
Headlamps and reflective vests allowed racers to run through the night, when the winds were cooling and the traffic was light.
While this race may be for diehards, other upcoming runs in the Keys are for mere mortals.
The 13th annual No Name Race 5k Walk/Run is set to take place in the Lower Keys Saturday, Jan. 12, benefiting the Domestic Abuse Shelter of Monroe County, Fla.
The 3.1-mile race begins at 8 a.m., presented by the shelter and coordinated by the Key West Southernmost Runners Club.
The event is based at the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages & Marina, next to the No Name Key Bridge on Big Pine Key (mile marker 30), where walkers and runners start and end their trek. Participants twice cross the No Name Key Bridge, a concrete span that replaced a wooden bridge decades ago.
Awards await the top male and female finishers in age groups ranging from 9 and under to 70 and older. A post-race celebration with refreshments and prizes is planned.
Runners can register online before the race or at the official pre-registration, set for 4-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Centennial Bank, 200 Wilder Road on Big Pine Key just off U.S. 1 bayside.
Final registration is at 6:30 a.m. race day at the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages. Packets also can be picked up Saturday morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the race site.
The event is a fundraiser for the domestic abuse shelter, whose mission is to reduce the incidence and impacts of domestic and sexual abuse by directing victims to appropriate programs and services.
People who want to support the shelter but can’t travel to the Lower Keys to run can register as virtual racers, enabling them to participate and raise funds from a distance.
Cost to enter is $30 per person in advance or $35 on race day. For entrants under age 15, registration is $10 per person. Virtual racers can enter for $15 per person.
Event information and registration: www.fearlessfundraising.kintera.org or 305-743-5452
Lower Keys visitors information: www.fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 305-872-2411
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