Daytona Beach Half Marathon Returns to Budweiser Speedweeks

Half Marathon

Runners pound the pavement at Daytona International Speedway during the Daytona Beach Half Marathon.

DAYTONA BEACH – The Daytona Beach Half Marathon returns to the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup in 2014. Scheduled for Sunday, February 16, the sixth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, hosted by Volusia County, Daytona International Speedway and the Central Florida Sports Commission will take place one week before the 56th annual “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.

Registration will open on Wednesday, April 17, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $85 per person. The half marathon will start at 6:30 am, just hours after The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona finishes up under the lights on Saturday night, and lead into DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday afternoon.

The integration of the race into Budweiser Speedweeks, once again allows organizers to further incorporate the racing theme into the already unique event. In addition, it enables many from the NASCAR community to participate. Included in the nearly 1,400 runners that registered for the 2013 event were four NASCAR drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip and Aric Almirola) and more than a dozen other team members.

“We’re looking forward to the return of the Daytona Beach Half Marathon during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “From the Speedway to the Beach, the community provided a memorable backdrop for all the runners who participated.”

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, finally reaching “The World’s Most Famous Beach” at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for approximately two-tenths 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 then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.

"We are really excited about the 2014 Daytona Beach Half Marathon and believe it will be even bigger than ever," said Volusia County Manager Jim Dinneen. "Last year, we added new features like running on a stretch on the beach while the sun is rising, and we incorporated car racing themes throughout the route, which really connected the runners not only to our great history but the diversity and beauty of our area."

New for 2014, race organizers will also incorporate a shorter distance race, as well as a Kids Race into the half marathon race weekend. Details associated with the additional race and Kids Race, including distance, dates, times and registration information, will be released in the coming months.

“The Daytona Beach Half Marathon provides a participant experience that is unparalleled anywhere in the running world,” said John Bisignano, Central Florida Sports Commission President/CEO. “The complete NASCAR experience, merged with the beauty of Daytona Beach, makes this a destination event that you will not want to miss. We expect the 2014 race weekend to draw more than 4,500 participants and spectators, driving nearly 1,000 room nights and over $900,000 of economic impact for Volusia County.”

Each half marathon participant will receive a race-themed tech shirt, finisher’s medal, post-race party, personalized race bib, and a ticket to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger. Included in the DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger ticket is access to Sprint FANZONE which provides an up-close look at the NASCAR garages 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. 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 5-6, 2013.  Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola 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.

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