On November 19 and 20, the nation’s oldest city will provide a beautiful and historic setting for a weekend of races and fun for running enthusiasts of all ages. Set for Sunday, November 20, both the Columbia St. Augustine Marathon and half-marathon have been certified by USA Track and Field making the event a qualifier for the prestigious 2013 Boston Marathon. In addition, 10K, 5K and Kids’ Runs are scheduled for Saturday. Together, these runs create an ideal weekend getaway for sports-minded families.
Athletes and fans will also experience the Columbia St. Augustine Expo featuring the latest gear and equipment at discount prices. Located in the heart of the event “village,” the Expo will also be an ideal location for runners and fans to socialize.
The marathon will be the first of the official events leading up to the 450th birthday of the City of St. Augustine in 2015. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, St. Augustine features an authentic European look that includes Aviles Street, the oldest street in the oldest city; the iconic Bridge of Lions leading to Anastasia Island; the Plaza de la Constitucion; some of the best Spanish Renaissance architecture in the New World; a beautiful bayfront; the nation’s first national monument, the Castillo de San Marcos; and 144 square blocks listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Combined with great Atlantic beaches, outstanding restaurants and a wide variety of accommodations, both runners and their fans will find the courses to be truly memorable. As an added bonus, the three million tiny white lights that mark the holiday Nights of Lights will flicker to life in a special ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. In 2009, AAA selected St. Augstine and its Nights of Lights as one of the ten best places in the U.S. and Canada for “holiday cheer”.
Registration for the Columbia St. Augustine Marathon is $105 for the full marathon; $90 for the half; $35 for the 10K; and $30 for the 5K. Children under 12 run for free. For online registration, course maps, full details and tips on accommodations, go to www.staugustinemarathon.com . The first 1,000 runners will receive a free cap and winners in each category will get to drink from the soon-to-be-legendary Grail of Endurance filled with fresh spring water from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine.
Organized by Miami Tri Events, the Columbia Restaurant and the Jack Wilson Family of Automobile Dealerships are key sponsors of the marathon along with Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, Project Autism, Anastasia State Park, Coastal Realty, Flagler Hospital and the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council
Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, 42 miles of pristine, Atlantic beaches and the location of Ponce De Leon’s historic discovery of Florida in 1513. For more information on events, activities, holiday getaway and vacation opportunities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com, become a fan on Facebookor call 1.800.653.2489.