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home > races/results > usa: florida > the rumrunner run 5k—simply world class, at one of the most beautiful spots anywhere

The Rumrunner Run 5K—Simply World Class, at One of the Most Beautiful Spots Anywhere
Run a unique December race along one of the world's most beautiful island chains and enjoy the hospitality and the adventure (and refreshing taste) conjured up by "Rumrunner". Sun, fun and gorgeous views of the Gulf and the Atlantic, this is a terrific opportunity for a mini vacation where it’s sunny 360 days a year. Set for December 8, 2012, this event will change your December running into a true reward.

The Rumrunner Run 5K—Simply World Class, at One of the Most Beautiful Spots Anywhere

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Thursday, 29 November, 2012

You do not want to miss the Rumrunner Run 5K in one of the truly terrific vacation destinations of the world, Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Islamorada is a gem, with many lodging and restaurant options and fantastic sparkling white sand beaches with the effervescent water off the Atlantic side and Gulf side. The course is fantastic, running along the Overseas Highway and the old road, and it finishes at the host hotel, the beautiful Postcard Inn at Holiday Isle. The post race party will be a beach party, with wonderful food, live music, and those wonderful Rumrunner libations. We have more on that famous concoction later.

Located near the midpoint of the Keys, about halfway between Miami and Key West, Islamorada is truly an island village of gorgeous harbors, sand, surf and hospitality.

Quiet beaches and lovely islands invite morning runs along the old road, or miles up and down the Overseas Highway and across bridges with beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. The highway and the ocean stretch for miles, island to island, an inviting and relaxing locale if ever there was one.

The first annual Rumrunner Run 5K, as well as a 5K walk if you wish, will be a terrific event with some serious competition and some party runners and walkers taking advantage of the several “Rumrunner Stops” with samples. They have great sponsorship, terrific organization, community backing, beautiful course, inviting venue, and a variety of food and beverage offerings for an enjoyable and tasty post race party with live music—on the beach with tiki bar and beer tent. See the Race Website for details:

And best of all, as with real estate, it is location, location, location—the ideal place for a comfortable, scenic, flat and fast course that is the envy of other races in the USA. It is a series of islands with some of the world’s most beautiful flora and hospitality resources to match.

You will be able to pick up pre-registration packets on Friday, December 7th at the Islamorada Holiday Festival from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. located at Founders Park at Mile Marker 87. It is going be a great time that you should not miss! Or you can pick up your registration on race day morning at Holiday Isle under the big tiki hut at the beach. We suggest you be there early.

Your Course
This is a beautiful modified out-and-back which starts on the old highway near the Whale Harbor Restaurant at 83413 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, about 8/10 mile from the host hotel, the Postcard Inn. The average elevation on the island is 6 feet MSL, and the course does not vary from that much, except for a little elevation incline and decline when crossing the Whale Harbor Bridge just after the start. The 5K is essentially an out-and-back heading northeast from the start and crossing the bridge. The course provides gorgeous 360 views of Islamorada and the ocean and Gulf that surrounds it. After crossing the bridge the course will bare right on the old road between Theater of the Sea and Holiday Isle.

The course will then will continue northeast on the old road until reaching Hog Heaven Sports Bar and Grill at 85361 Overseas Highway where you will turn right and loop around to come back on the old road. (The address street numbers correlate with the highway mile markers, so the start will be at mile marker 83.4 and the turnaround at 85.3—marking miles from Key West Lighthouse.) From there you will run back toward the southwest until you reach the northern entrance of Postcard Inn, Holiday Isle and proceed to turn left. The finish line will be along the shore of the Postcard Inn.

Please visit the race website for details and additional information on registration, sponsorship, FAQ’s, accommodations, course map and description, and the all-important Rum Runner recipe.

The Rum Runner
Yes, there were rumrunners, a very lively operation during Prohibition. And once there were pirates and other “adventurous” souls. The Host Hotel, the Postcard Inn at Holiday Isle, was the originator on the “Rumrunner” beverage concoction in the mid 1950’s in a nod to this interesting Keys history. They are delicious, frozen or otherwise—a Keys tradition like Key Lime Pie!

Very Rewarding, Very Refreshing
Just being in Islamorada is a terrific reward in itself, and you can add to that a scenic and comfortable flat, fast, certified course. Additionally, everyone will get a beautifully designed T-shirt. One unique feature of this race is the Rumrunner Stops (in addition to several water stops). The Rumrunner Stops will be provided by Hog Heaven Sports Bar and Grill, Whahoo’s Bar and Grill, the Island Grill, Whale Harbor Restaurant, and Postcard Inn. They will offer samples of their famous Rumrunner beverages and you can choose which you like. Of course you get a full sized Rumrunner (complimentary) at the finish/post race, but the stops will be enjoyable too. These stops are optional and obviously for adults only, but the experience combined with the scenery and Keys atmosphere will be tremendously memorable.

Post Race Party and Entertainment
There will be a terrific post race party and awards ceremony hosted by the various sponsors, with a variety of delectable food offerings from the many restaurants in the area, as well as a variety beverages to quench a running and party thirst. There will be live music to entertain, and the beach and sun. So don’t leave early, as tempting as it is to tour and see more of the Keys region. From the Race Website, “It is a freakin’ party! This is a Keys style, Oceanfront shindig at the Holiday Isle with live music, great food, and one of course, RUMRUNNER!”

This event takes place in Islamorada, one of the most beautiful series of islands in the Florida Keys as well as the entire U.S.A. Islamorada is actually a string of several islands and an elongated village. The main village is on Upper Matecumbe Key. There are approximately 7,000 full time residents, and some are famous. This was once home for Red Sox star Ted Williams, and is now home to triple crown winner Miguel Cebrera of the Detroit Tigers. Actor Gene Hackman and coach and football analyst Jimmy Johnson also have resided there.

Islamorada comes from the Spanish “purple”, and is known as the “Village of Islands”. It includes Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe and Lower Matecumbe Key, Lignumvitae Key, and Tea Table Key. The term “Key” also comes from Spanish, “Cayo”, meaning small island.

Juan Ponce de Leon of Spain found the Tequesta and Calusa people living here when he explored the region in 1513.

Islamorada, as with all the Keys, was accessible only by water until 1910 when the Florida East Coast Railway or Overseas Railway was built by Henry Flagler to connect all of the Keys and Key West to the rest of Florida.

Islamorada took a direct hit from the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935, one of only three Category Five Hurricanes to hit the US since records began. It packed winds of over 200 miles per hour and 17 foot storm surge, and it killed about 600 people, many in and around Islamorada. There is a memorial and the burial site of victims’ ashes at mile 82 on the highway.

The hurricane destroyed the railway and it was never rebuilt, but some of the bridges, or what was left of them, were used for the original Overseas Highway.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. After the railroad was built, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone. Today, visitors can walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation, which was an important part of Florida's 20th century history. Some quarry machinery has been preserved. Visitors can enjoy the natural attributes of this island while strolling five self-guided trails. Picnic tables are available. The Visitor Center, open Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., features educational exhibits about the history. It is located at Mile Marker 84.9 (along the 5K course) on Windley Key near the village of Islamorada.

Race Organization and Charities
The race will be giving back to the local community. Both the Coral Shores High School Band and the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center will receive proceeds generated by the race. This event is brought to you by Green Stride Racing, the same organization that brought you the phenomenal Newburyport, Massachusetts, Green Stride Half Marathon.

For additional information on the race or the organization, go to

Run in the Sun, and Enjoy
This is your opportunity for a mini (or not so mini) vacation in one of the most beautiful of beach resorts. In addition to the race you will want to put in miles along the beach and the many scenic locations found everywhere in the region. Whether you hobbies include fishing, boating, museums, biking, dolphin watching, art collecting/viewing, shopping or other—this is the destination for you. Plan your trip around this excellent race, December 8, 2012, but do plan to visit Islamorada. It is an island worth exploring and experiencing.



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