DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In 2013, a new race will be a part of the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup, but competitors won't need a helmet. Scheduled for Sunday, February 17, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway will host the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon just one week before the 55th running of “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.
The half marathon will start at 6:30 am, just hours after the Daytona Shootout finishes up under the lights on Saturday night, and lead into DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger on Sunday afternoon. Previously held in October, the Daytona Beach Half Marathon’s move to February means there will be no race in 2012. The integration of the race into Budweiser Speedweeks will allow organizers to further incorporate the racing theme into the already unique event.
“Hosting this event amidst all the excitement of Budweiser Speedweeks just adds to the uniqueness of our events and provides an unforgettable backdrop for all the runners who will compete next year,” said Daytona International Speedway’s President Joie Chitwood III. “We successfully host the 5K prior to the Rolex 24 At Daytona and are confident the half marathon will enjoy the same success. We look forward to hosting yet another thrilling race in February.”
The Daytona Beach Half Marathon’s route, named one of the seven most scenic half marathons in America by Active.com, features one of the most unique courses in the running world. With the legendary pavement and historic grandstands of Daytona International Speedway serving as the backdrop, runners will start on pit road and run the first two miles on the track. The course then winds through the streets of Daytona Beach, including a run along the boardwalk of “The World’s Most Famous Beach,” before returning to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.
“Integrating the Daytona Beach Half Marathon into Budweiser Speedweeks will provide a participant experience that is unparalleled anywhere in the running world,” said Brent Nelson, Central Florida Sports Commission Interim President/CEO. “The complete NASCAR experience will truly make the half marathon a destination event, adding to the already substantial economic impact Volusia County experiences during the first quarter of the year.”
"This race has enormous potential for our community," said Volusia County Chair Frank Bruno. "The tie in with the Speedway and our beautiful beach gives this event a backdrop that no other race can
duplicate. I want to give our county manager, Jim Dinneen, a great deal of credit. It was his idea to make this a winter event and link it with Speedweeks."
Each runner will receive a race-themed tech shirt, finisher’s medal, post-race party, and a ticket to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger. Included in the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying ticket is access to Sprint FANZONE which provides an up-close look inside the NASCAR garage and inspection areas as teams prepare for the race. Photo opportunities with race cars and other NASCAR-related items will be available before, during and after the race.
Registration is now open, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $75 per person. Travel packages are also available online, which include race entry, hotel and other exclusive perks. Travel packages are available, starting at just $190 per person. The half marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.
For more information about the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, visit www.daytonabeachhalf.com. For real time updates like the race on Facebook @Daytona Beach Half Marathon or follow on twitter @daytonahalf.
About CFSC: The Central Florida Sports Commission strategically solicits, creates and supports marquee sports-related events and businesses that enhance our community’s economy. The Sports Commission represents the counties of Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia, as well as the City of Orlando. The Sports Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Central Florida including the Celebrity Mascot Games, the SPORTYS, Breakfast of Champions and the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. For more information, please visit www.centralfloridasports.org.
The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 6-7, 2012. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, featuring a special hour-long pre-race concert by multiplatinum, Grammy-winning superstars Train, and the Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway) for all the latest news all season long.