Key West Half Marathon

Run in the sun!

Mia and I spent the last week hanging out in Key West, Florida.  We used the excuse of running a half marathon to make this journey, and you know what, it was totally worth it.

Both Mia and I believe that if we are going to run a half marathon that we might as well make it a worthwhile adventure.  It all started with Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in  October 2010 and the tradition continued with us heading to sunny and warm Key West.
I’m not going to lie, it was a great excuse to take a vacation too.  That is why we flew in on Friday, raced on Sunday and spent until Wednesday just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine and warmth.

Two happy finishers.

Race day morning started out in the upper 60’s for the 7AM start.  By the time we both finished it had climbed up into the upper 70’s.  Quite a difference than the 8 degrees and 4″ of fresh snow that we left behind early Friday morning.
The course was pretty darn flat, though I was surprised to find it had more net elevation gain than Myrtle Beach.  I attribute that to the bridges we went over.  All of them had an arch to them to allow smaller ships/boats to pass under.
The only annoying part of the course was the outer most point that snaked through the community college parking lot.  I think they were just pushing to get that .2 miles they needed to get the 13.1 miles.  Other than that though, we got to run down Duval St (party central) and out past the southern most point in the U.S.A.

Taken the day before the race

From this point it was out along the only real “beach” in all of Key West.  It was a wicked nice view and it offered plenty of sights to take your mind off the pain in your legs.
The funniest thing I heard during the race was during the last 1.2 miles as we went over the last bridge.  The volunteers said “this is the final hill” which I replied “That’s not a hill, I’m from NH”.
I’ll tell you right now, if you want to travel for a race, put the Key West Half Marathon on your list.  The weather was gorgeous, the course was pretty darn good, the volunteers were awesome.  I highly recommend this one.

We of course did not just go to run.  We went to Mallory Square for the nightly sunset “party”, saw the cat man, a dog wearing boxers, and all sorts of wild roosters and cats.

Sunset at Mallory Square
Cat Man!
They have wild cats and roosters like we have squirrles.

Like any trip that Mia and I take, it’s boils down to finding great food too.  We stayed at Albury Court on Eaton St, which is right near the awesome little bakery called Old Town Bakery.  I had something from them almost every day.  After the race we stopped in and I got their egg sandwich on fresh brioche.  Simply put it was awesome!  Also picked up a nice coffee and pumpkin muffin one morning.

a must visit bakery

Monday after the race we took a ferry 70 miles west of Key West to the Dry Tortuga National Park and spent a day checking out the old fort and hanging on the beach.

How about that blue water
Mia priming her cannon
Hampton beach will never be this clear
The beach is crushed up coral, not sand.

I’ll say it one more time.  I highly recommend visiting Key West.  It was a nice break from the cold and clouds in NH and the weather in January was gorgeous.
A few more random pictures.

Long way back to NH
Route 1 starts in Key West
Ernest Hemmingway's house.
lots of beautiful homes
Mattheson's sells 1/2 lb cookies
I now understand "Island Time"

Thanks for reading.

-Pete

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