The Half Marathon Run Course: The half marathon course on Honeymoon Island is one of the most beautiful, unique, and diverse race courses you will find in running. We ARE a destination race! We have titled this Florida State Park Series, “A Race Thru Xanadu.” Each course is set inside one of Florida’s most attractive state parks and includes a route full of color, nature, scenery and terrain that will inspire you to reach an unforgettable finish line. Our course description below will take you through what you can expect to encounter on each mile of the course. The Honeymoon Half is an out and back loop that starts and ends at the Oasis and takes you along packed trails, asphalt, a brief portion of one of the most beautiful and top ranked beaches in the world, and across the awe inspiring Dunedin Causeway and back to the Oasis. Enjoy this, “Race Through Xanadu.”
Miles 1 and 13: The race begins and ends on the Oasis Trail which includes asphalt and hard packed trail which is scenic and wooded. At mile 1.5 you will be led through the northeastern portion of the island where the road will take you along a very easy to follow route packed with wonderful volunteers, great course signage, and an ecosystem full of birds and brush that will inspire many of you to come back for a day of photography with us!
Miles 2 and 12: You will travel along the main roadway of Honeymoon Island State Park to a short pathway that will lead you to a route on asphalt parallel to the coastline and rising sunshine passing both The Honeymoon Café and our Southwest Beach House Café which are known for their fresh and delicious menu items.
Miles 3 and 11: You will advance toward a 200 foot beach boardwalk onto the packed sand for just under one a mile of running along Honeymoon Pass with a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico, Caladesi Island, and Dunedin Beach. It may be too early for beach goers but as you enter mile 3 and come back toward mile 11, you will bear witness to the rising sun in the east and one of the most breath taking coast line views in the world.
Miles 4 and 10: You will follow the asphalt roadway long the main road of the west end of Honeymoon Island up and around the Ferry Launch and to the gates of the Honeymoon Island. Be sure to take in the gorgeous natural foliage around you as you pass along one of the most protected and revered islands in the United States. This route, into and out of the gates of Honeymoon, will have you bragging about this great destination race. Enjoy mile 4 with its ease and flow as you get to come back to in in mile ten leading you toward an amazing finish line.
Mile 5 and 9: You are on the far west end of beautiful Dunedin Causeway. This is an extension of the Pinellas County Trail System that in totality runs almost 50 miles throughout beautiful Pinellas County on the west central coast of Florida. This causeway extension of the Pinellas Trail includes one small bridge and by mile 5 our 1,000 runners have spread out nicely so we ask that there is no passing as you cross briefly on this short bridge.
Miles 6 and 8: Are you enjoying our inspiration mile station emcees yet! They are a pleasure to run toward as they call our cheers to each one of you. Feel free to wear your name on the front of your shirt to get plenty of person attention. These ladies are full of inspiration and motivation! They have been hired specifically to set an unforgettable mood of encouragement as you travel along the world famous Dunedin Causeway; a gateway to one of the most unique towns on the central coast of Florida.
Mile 7 This is your turn around point at the east end of Dunedin Causeway so make the loop at Gary Circle and come back to enjoy it all again on the back stretch. The sun is now at your back the spring like breeze of November in Florida blows softly against your face for a cool and refreshing run back to Honeymoon Island! THIS FRIENDS….Is YOUR, “Race Through Xanadu!” The Honeymoon Half…Your finisher’s medal is awaiting your arrival.
What Can Our Registrants Expect To Take Home Along With A Great Race Experience? Well here it is…what’s in it for you as you prepare to register for the most popular distance in running and what does your registration into the Honeymoon Half get you? Every registrant will receive the Honeymoon Half sweatshirt AND short sleeve race shirt, the finish line medals are a large 4 inches in size and are exclusive to the “Race Through Xanadu” theme of paradise and inspiration. We hope that you will be among the first registrants able to collect them every year. Only our initial registrants will be able to have them all and we will offer a virtual category for you so that you never miss a year with us. The post-race party will knock your socks off with music from the Black Honkey’s playing live in the Oasis at the northwest end of the island with free beer for all provided by Michelob Ultra through Great Bay distributors. The music begins at 9 am and goes without interruption until our awards party at 10:30 am. Registration will open to JUST 1,000 participants with NO EXCEPTIONS. The good news is that Each of YOU who registers for our inaugural event on November 8, 2014, will be the first and only registrants eligible for registration the first 30 days registration opens for the following year. That’s right…we have 1,000 spaces available and we will hold one JUST FOR YOU unless you choose yourself to forfeit your entry or pass it to a friend the following year.
Race Start and Registration Dates! The Honeymoon Half will be announced each year, for everything it has to offer, the first of March. General registration without hotel accommodations will open the first of April. If the Half Marathon does not reach maximum capacity with 1,000 registrants by the first of July, we will announce the opening of our 10K division and our 5K on the first of September. Of course with only 1,000 spaces and the demand for this distance on this island, we hope that you will reserve your space early in the year. The half marathon will begin at 7:30 am on the 8th of November. The run will be chip timed with results posted immediately after the race at HonyemoonHalf.com along with a large variety of race photos at no expense to you for download.
Packet Pick Up Location. Packet pick up will take place at the Family Fitness Center on Dunedin Causeway. Times will be announced on the race website in October.
Pre-Race Pasta Dinner: Friday at both 6 pm and 7 pm we have chosen the best location on the water to host our pre-race evening pasta dinner. Be sure to include this in your bundle at registration as both our 6 pm and 7 pm times will be sold out prior to the race. Our host hotel, Beso Del Sol, on the water will be host to our Friday evening pasta dinner. You can enjoy the sunset with us on the water, along with Beso Del Sol’s full liquor cash bar, and pasta salad dinner upstairs on level 4 overlooking the water. This is a top notch location and another great reason that this is a destination race.
Race Day Photographs: We will have race photographers shooting the event and filming the post-race party and Black Honkey’s concerts. You will also find several photo ops located on the venue including an event backdrop, a PR arch and horn for those of you that achieve your own personal best time, an awards stage where will honor not only the top 5 in every standard age group, but also runners we have selected ahead of time from their stories of inspiration sent to us prior to the race.
Our Host Hotel: We’ve got THE BEST. Beso Del Sol on the water in downtown Dunedin is our race host hotel and includes room packages with one bedroom, two bedrooms, waterfront and loft suites. The packages you will be offered include race registration, hotel accommodations and dinner. Early packages are being made available first in March to our early registrants. Beso Del Sol is located on the water in our quant downtown Dunedin district. If you would like to stay further from the venue or on Clearwater Beach please send us an email prior to booking a room as we have selected several secondary host hotels at a rate we have already negotiated for you!
Parking and Arrival? All registered runners should make their way to Honeymoon Island with at least one hour to spare prior to our 7:30 am race start in the Oasis at the northwest end of Honeymoon Island. Our volunteers will lead you to the most efficient parking area based on your arrival time. Spectators must be on the island by 7 a.m. as the island will close for the race just after 7. There is no fee at the entrance gate to Honeymoon until it reopens at 9 am. The course remains open for running but after 9 am runners will need to watch for cars entering the park. The finish line is open until 11 am so run walk or skip but this is YOUR FINISH LINE no matter the finish time.
Aid Station Locations and Race Support: Aid stations will be located in the following locations along the race course:
Start Finish line: water, food, portable outlets, public restrooms and medical tent
Mile 1 and 3: water and restroom facilities
Mile 4: water station
Mile 5: public restroom along the course
Mile 6: water station
Mile 7: water station
Mile 8: water station
Mile 10: public restroom along the course
Mile 11: water station
Mile 12: water station and public restroom
Aid stations will all be equipped with cups of clean fresh spring water. Each mile station will have basic medical supplies and volunteers with cell phones in the event you need more medical attention.
Medical: Our medical tent will be stationed net the start/finish line inside Honeymoon Island at the Oasis. Our team does not rely on the race communication network should we encounter a questionable episode with one of our participants. Your health and safety is our primary concern so the 911 dispatch service will be called in any situation where a runner is feeling worse than normal fatigue or exhaustion. We encourage each of you to properly fuel your bodies with nutrition and liquid prior to arriving on race day.