DAYTONA BEACH (February 17, 2013) – A brisk morning for Daytona Beach in February, provided great running conditions for the nearly 1,400 runners that registered for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Several NASCAR greats were in the field, including five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola.
“That was an awesome race,” said Jimmie Johnson just minutes after finishing the half marathon in a time of 1:29:48. “I met my goal, so I'm really excited about that. The course was really cool and there were a lot of people along the way cheering, the DJ at the bridge pumping music out, and people were even running in 48 gear.”
The men’s winner was Joshua Guerrero, from Daytona Beach with a time of 1:16:00. The women’s winner was Katie Hoover, from Ormond Beach with a time of 1:26:18. A notable achievement, Daytona Beach native, Eddie Roseboom completed a goal today of running 50 half marathons before he turned 50.
Hosted by Volusia County, the Daytona International Speedway and the Central Florida Sports Commission, the Daytona Beach Half Marathon was a new addition to the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup this year, taking place just one week before the 55th running of “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500. Previously held in October, the move to February allowed race organizers to further incorporate the racing theme into the already unique event. In addition to NASCAR drivers participating in the race, classic race cars were placed along the course and each runner received 2 tickets to the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger, which is held today at 1pm, just 3 hours after the last runner crosses the finish line.
“The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is a key part of the Sports Commission’s strategy to have Volusia County get more of its fair share of sports,” said John Bisignano, Central Florida Sports Commission President/CEO. “It starts with a high performance team - Jim Dinneen & his Volusia County team, Joie Chitwood & the Daytona International Speedway team and the Central Florida Sports Commission team. It continues with a unique product - home of ‘The Great American Race’ and ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’ and finishes with a focused effort to bring more high quality and unique events that drive sports tourism to Volusia County. It is a new day for Sports Tourism in Volusia and this is only the beginning.”
Runners began the half marathon on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and circled around the first two miles of the track, exiting the track at Gate 7 and heading east on International Speedway Blvd. Runners continued 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. New for this year, runners then ran on the beach for approximately a 10th of a mile, getting an unobstructed view of the ocean as the sun rose on the beautiful horizon. Returning to the roads of Daytona Beach, runners then headed back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.
"Bringing together the iconic Daytona International Speedway and ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach,’ provides this race a most exciting experience that no other race can duplicate,” said Volusia County Manager, Jim Dinneen, who also ran the half marathon today. "This race has enormous potential for our community and we look forward to growing it into one of the most unique races in the nation.”
Complete results can be found at the Dayton Beach Half Marathon website, www.daytonabeachhalf.com or at www.altavistasports.com. The date for the 2014 Daytona Beach Half Marathon will be released in the coming weeks. For real time updates and news, like the race on Facebook @Daytona Beach Half Marathon or follow on twitter @daytonahalf.
Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events are also available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.
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.