7 Must Run Local Races in 2019

As we near 2019, these are 7 races that everyone should put on their race calendars!

  1. Valentines Day 5k (02/09/19) – The 18th Annual Valentines Day 5k is a favorite among local runners. Taking place at the Silver Springs State Park, this race offers a mixture of both road and trail. Put on by the Roundtable Runners, this race helps local teens going to running camp in Boone, NC.

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  2. Strawberry Jam 5k (03/02/19) – Raising money for Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, the third edition of this event is one that is expected to excite. This race starts and finishes at the McPherson Government complex, and runs through the neighborhoods of SE Ocala. The top 150 finishers will receive an awesome medal and can stay to hang out for the Strawberry Festival taking place afterward.

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  3. Heston’s Heroes  (03/30/19) – If you are looking for a race where the proceeds go to a good cause, there is no better local event.  Heston is an 8-year-old boy who suffers from Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome which is a bone marrow failure disease along with multiple organ failure disorder. Money raised from this event will help cover medical treatment for Heston and will also serve as a bone marrow drive.

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  4. Running of the Donuts (06/08/19)  – This is arguably the most fun event (to watch) in Ocala. With multiple categories to chose from, there is fun for the whole crew. For the weak we have the standard chip timed 5k. For those looking for a little more, we have the Donut Run itself. The Donut Run consists of a 1.5-mile run, followed by the consumption of 6 donuts, and then another 1.5-mile run. Donut Run finishers receive a custom medal to commemorate their achievement. For the bravest competitors amongst us, we have the Challenge. Challenge competitors start the day with the chip-timed 5k, then finish with the donut run.Sign Up Here
  5. Turkey Trot (11/28/19) – YMCA’s Turkey Trot is the marquee event on the Ocala Running Calendar. Attracting nearly 3,000 participants, there is something for everyone on Thanksgiving Day morning. Participants can choose to either run in a 5k or 10k, or they can sign up for one of the many classes they offer. Participants are treated to gender-specific tech shirts and 10k participants walk away with a custom medal.

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  6. Ugly Sweater 5k (12/07/19) –  Keep off the holiday weight by signing up for back to back to back holiday races. Taking place at the beautiful Blue Run Park in Dunnellon Florida, this 5k is one that has been gaining attention over the years. The 2018 event attracted over 300 competitors and gave out thousands of dollars worth of door prizes. Participants were spoiled with awesome swag bags, finishers were given custom medals, and age group winners walked away with awesome gear from Garmin. Money raised from the event went towards the Dunnellon High School athletic department.Sign Up Here
  7. Reindeer Run (12/14/19) – The Reindeer Run is Ocala’s longest road running tradition.  Turning 42 in 2019, this event is a local favorite. Starting immediately before the Christmas Parade, athletes race down Silver Spring Blvd in front of tens of thousands of people. Competitors are treated with a drifit shirt and finishers are awarded a custom race medal.Sign Up Here
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