Marathon High School graduates and local runners take a post-race photo on their ‘home course’ at the 2023 Sombrero Beach Run. ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

Attracted by Florida Keys sunshine, athletic competition and family fun, hundreds of avid runners and walkers from around the United States will head to the Middle Keys for the 17th annual Sombrero Beach Run weekend. The  event is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Feb. 23 through 25, with races to take place Saturday, Feb. 24.  

The outdoor run/walk encourages families to participate in the healthful weekend while contributing to a worthwhile cause. The run is sponsored by Key West Southernmost Runners and proceeds benefit Keys Area Interdenominational Resources, a Marathon-based nonprofit organization that provides food pantry, housing assistance, emergency and relocation support among other services.

Registration for the combined 15K challenge is $35 per adult age 19 and over. Students 18 and under can enter for $15 per person. For each of the 10K and 5K events, registration is $30 per adult age 19 and up and $10 per student.

A kickoff and registration party with pizza, drinks, music and entertainment is set for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at Sombrero Beach, located at the end of Sombrero Beach Road at MM 50, where runners and walkers can pick up registration packets.

Participants also can register on-site at 7 a.m. Saturday. Both the 15K challenge and 10K will start at 8 a.m. and the 5K run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. A free fun run for kids ages 2-12 is planned for 10:30 a.m.

Race-day attractions include a pre-race breakfast for runners, a post-race lunch, music, beachside fun, refreshments and door prizes. At the event’s silent auction, bidders can vie for artwork, exclusive memberships and admissions to Keys attractions and area eateries. Also up for bid is a coveted single entry into the exclusive Seven Mile Bridge Run scheduled April 13.

An awards ceremony on the beach will follow the races. Male and female winners of the 10K and 5K runs and 5K walk will be recognized, as well as finishers in multiple age categories. Those completing the 15K challenge receive a special gift. Awards typically include resort stays, cash and Keys eco-attractions and watersports experiences.

Sunday morning, guided tai chi on Sombrero Beach will round out the weekend.More information is at