26th annual race featured four unique running events attracting runners from across the nation and 27 countries
KEY WEST, Fla. — The Key West Half Marathon and 5K held its annual Half Marathon and Runfest this past weekend, featuring its traditional offerings, and for the second time, the Papa’s Pilar Rum Stroll and Key West Beach N’ Beer Mile. The Papa’s Pilar Rum Stroll took participants across 8 popular Old Town Key West locations. At each location, participants would stop and enjoy a Papa’s Pilar Rum Drink before venturing onto the next location. Participants who completed the stroll also received the very popular Rum Stroll shirt. The Beach N’ Beer Mile took participants on a four-loop course run at the southernmost beach in the United States. It is an untimed fun-focused event with participants walking, running or strolling with prizes awarded for Best Dressed, Least Dressed, and Best Team Spirit.
“Each year, the Key West Half Marathon brings so much excitement and fun to our small community,” said Barbara Wright, Race Director and Founder of the Key West Half Marathon & Runfest. “With the addition of our newer events, there really is something for everyone. Seeing all the participants venture through our town and have a blast with new friends is so rewarding to see, and is why I love helping put on this incredible event!”
The Key West Half Marathon and Runfest’s main events are a half marathon and 5K race. The courses weave participants through Key West’s historic Old Town and scenic waterfront paths, creating a unique experience that led to the event being rated a top 10 half marathon by USA Today. Participants of these races received one-of-a-kind race day medals and shirts that featured artwork by local artist Taylor Hale, a native Floridian who draws inspiration from a lifetime on the water in his island hometown of Islamorada, Fla.
Joe Swendrowski, the men’s half marathon champion, completed the 13.1 miles in 1:20:19.34, followed by men’s half marathon second and third-place finishers, Joseph Styrna (1:20:34.81) and Jeff Welsh (1:22:50.58). Matt Davis took home first in the men’s para athlete division of the half with a time of 1:19:31.49. The women’s half marathon course was led by Christa Collins, who finished with a time of 1:27:20.36. Second and third-place finishers for the women’s half marathon were Marion Bourrellier (1:29:40.53) and Olivia Morton (1:34:18.15).
The men’s 5K division was led by Zachary Redding, who finished with a time of 18:41.98, and Andrea Nelson led the women’s division with a time of 21:46.34. Second and third-place finishers of the men’s 5K were Anthony Alger with a time of 19:07.19, and Michael Labrada with a time of 19:36.26. For the women, Kristen Forbriger took second place in the 5K with a time of 22:22.25, and Claudia Guzman took third with a time of 22:36.35.
This year’s event attracted more than 3900 participants, some traveling from as far as Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia. These participants took part in a variety of activities, and wrapped up the weekend with a lively after-party that featured live entertainment, free refreshments, a raffle that included prizes worth up to $3,500 and much more!
The Key West Half Marathon and Runfest will be returning for its 27th annual event on Jan. 19, 2025. For more information about the Key West Half Marathon, please visit www.keywesthalfmarathon.com, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
About Key West Half Marathon & Runfest
The Key West Half Marathon is renowned for its beautiful course, which winds through historic landmarks, lively streets and Key West’s waterfront. With its vibrant atmosphere, enthusiastic spectators and well-organized event, the race attracts participants of all levels from all 50 States and 37 countries on average. Participants can expect a fun race experience, complete with top-notch amenities, unique race shirts and finisher medals, entertainment on the course, professional timing and a festive post-race celebration including food, beverages and concerts.