Hello, on January 17th 2016, you’ll be organizing the Clearwater Distance Classic. Can you tell us where it is located?
We’re located on Central Florida’s Gulf coast in the beautiful city of Clearwater. Our race starts and finishes at Coachman Park on the waterfront.
How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?
This is our 17th year. We originally created because Central Florida needed a marathon, and then we added the other distances.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
Entirely asphalt-paved, except for the bridges, the varied course ascends Clearwater Bridge at sunrise, with spectacular views of the Gulf, followed by palm-tree lined Clearwater Causeway, and barrier-island flat Sand Key. Gulf Boulevard leads our runners through beach neighborhoods towards peaceful Pinellas Trail, which takes you back to the finish line at Coachman Park. Our Clearwater Halfathon and our Clearwater 5-Miler challenge athletes with multiple bridge ascents, but also reward them with spectacular views from each bridge’s summit. Both courses are entirely within 1/4 mile of Clearwater Harbor and/or the Gulf of Mexico.
What are the distances on the agenda?
We offer a 50K Ultra, Marathon, Half-Marathon, 5-Miler and 5K Walkathon. Our Marathon is a Boston Qualifier.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
Last year, in 2014, we had 2250 registrants. This race has something for everyone – from the serious athlete to the folks who want to get off the couch as a New Year Resolutions. Our goal is to provide a circled date on everyone’s new calendar to come together in the spirit of good health.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
You can’t beat Florida in January! Average Low – 52° Average High – 72° Average Monthly rainfall – 1.99 " Sunrise: 7:20 a.m.
Have you planned festivities around the event?
Our popular post-race party is a well-deserved opportunity to celebrate your success. Replenish with our delicious pasta and meatballs (vegetarian option available), beer, breakfast foods and fruits. Enjoy live music and vendors selling their wares. Stay around for the awards ceremony in case you win in your age group. You just may receive another medal or trophy!
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Clearwater before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
Award-winning Clearwater Beach, with its white sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets provides the perfect setting to relax and recover, making this a popular spot for a mid-winter vacation. Our travel agent has pre-arranged some discounted rates at hotels near the start line for our runners.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Clearwater Distance Classic?
WINTER RACECATION! From a 50K to a 5K, the Clearwater Distance Classic offers a race for athletes of all abilities and beautiful beaches to recover on – Florida in January is the place to be!
Interview with Chris and Rya Lauber, race directors. Chris and Rya are a husband and wife team, head of Florida Road Races, a family-owned race management company that creates, plans, markets and executes road races in Tampa Bay. Founded in Clearwater, Florida, in 2000, the company’s mission is to offer “runner-friendly” races and to promote a healthy, active lifestyle.