DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway.
The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks.
Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola.
“My wife and I really like to run and stay fit,” Almirola said. “Sammy Johns, our Director of Competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, is really into running, triathlons and being competitive. So, we all decided this was a perfect run to do. It’s during Speedweeks, it’s going to get the race fans involved and it just seems like a lot of fun. We are looking forward to it.”
Runners will begin the half marathon on pit road at Daytona International Speedway. The course will circle around the first two miles of the track, exiting the track at Gate 7 and heading east on International Speedway Blvd. Runners continue over the bridge getting their first glimpse of the Halifax River and the beach, finally reaching “The World’s Most Famous Beach” at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for a 10th of a mile, getting an unobstructed view of the ocean as the sun rises on the beautiful horizon, Returning to the roads of Daytona Beach runners, will then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.
The Daytona Beach 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.
Each participant will receive a race-themed tech shirt, finisher’s medal, access to the post-race party, and a ticket to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger, which includes admission to the Sprint FANZONE
Registration is currently open, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $80 per person, until February 14th. Travel packages are also available online, which include race entry, hotel and other exclusive perks - starting at just $190 per person. For race and ticket information, visit the Daytona Beach Half Marathon website: http://daytonabeachhalf.com/.
Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events are also available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.