- Ringling Bridge Run, Jan. 19
This is the 10th anniversary of the New Balance Ringling Bridge Run, presented by the Sarasota Family YMCA. In that time it has become the biggest local race, drawing more than 2,500 runners. This year, winners will receive special Tervis Tumblers with a race logo, rather than some sort of anniversary material. “We looked it up and a 10th anniversary gift is tin,” joked Molly Jackson of New Balance Sarasota. “We’re like, tin? What are we gonna do with that?” active.com; thesarasotay.org
- Suncoast Half Marathon, Jan. 27
This is one of many new Lakewood Ranch races. It will start and end on Main Street there. It’s sponsored by the Active Suncoast Foundation, which will also present a Sharks Tooth 10K April 13 in Venice and a Frosty 5K Dec. 15 in Sarasota. activesuncoast.org.
- Manasota Track Club 50K and 25K, Feb. 9
This is an ultra-marathon of 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, which is nearly 5 miles longer than the traditional marathon distance. Only the hardest of hard-core distance runners show up for this one. The cross-country race used to be at Knight Trail near Venice. Now it’s moving to Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey. manasotatrackclub.org; 356-6470
- Scrub Jay 5K and 10K, Feb. 16
This is the 13th annual run through the woods at Oscar Scherer State Park. Hundreds of people turn out each year to enjoy the fresh air and green scenery. A state park ranger usually runs in a full-length scrub jay costume. active.com.
- Sarasota Half-Marathon & Relay, March 17
This race used to be a full marathon until it was scaled back a few years ago. Many more runners did the 13.1-mile distance, anyway. And racers can still enjoy “A Run With a View” that traces Sarasota Bay and crosses the Ringling Causeway to Bird Key. sarasotahalfmarathon.com.
- Run for the Turtles, April 6
This will be the 27th year for the Siesta Beach 5K. It’s the primary fundraiser for Mote Marine’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. In recent years, more than 1,000 runners have showed up for a spring race across the white Siesta Key sand. active.com; 388-4441, Ext. 357.
- Summer Beach Run Series, June-August
This race series started in 1975, the same year as the Manasota Track Club. Each Wednesday evening on Siesta Beach, there is a 1-mile fun run for kids, sponsored by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, followed by a track club race for adults. Lots of families picnic, swim and wait around for a spectacular sunset. manasotatrackclub.org.
- Bill's Beer Run, Oct. 27
This 5-mile run, named for ultra-marathoner Bill Menard, is the Manasota Track Club’s annual fundraising race on Casey Key. This will be the 25th anniversary of this popular race. The field is limited to 750 runners, so people have to sign up a month in advance. The race date is around Halloween each year, so lots of runners wear costumes. manasotatrackclub.org.
- PAL Half Marathon, Nov. 24
This south Sarasota fundraiser was started two years ago by the Police Athletic League. More than 500 racers run 13.1 miles through the Palmer Ranch neighborhood. The start/finish line is at Potter Park Drive and Sarasota Square Boulevard. sarasotapal.org
- Sandy Claws, Dec. 14
This is one of the oldest holiday races in Sarasota. Some years it’s cold, and other years it’s not so cold. Runners race across Siesta Beach wearing red noses, reindeer horns or green elf hats. Others tie jingle bells to their sneakers. manasotatrackclub.org.
Top 10 runs of 2013
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