Town Council approves route for first time in event's 14 year history
The Palm Beach Town Council approved a special event permit request from K2 Sports Ventures Wednesday that will allow the new FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon to cross onto the island December 3, 2017, the first time in the history of Palm Beach marathon racing that runners will actually be allowed to run on Palm Beach.
The Council approved a course segment that will cross onto the island at the Flagler Memorial Bridge, wind South along the Cocoanut Row bike trail, turn west at Whitehall Way and then South on the Lake Trail, before crossing back into West Palm Beach at the Royal Park Bridge.
“Palm Beach is one of the most iconic and desirable places in the world and the opportunity to include the island in the new course is an enormous enhancement for the race,” said Kenneth R. Kennerly, CEO of K2 Sports Ventures. “Raising the bar of this race is my premier goal as Palm Beach and Palm Beach County deserve the very best.
“We employed the same strategy when I took over The Honda Classic, which has seen enormous growth and recognition as becoming one of the premier events on the PGA TOUR. Being able to include Palm Beach island in a segment of the FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon is a big step in the right direction for the future of the race and our efforts to create an elite International running experience.”
Palm Beach runners will now have the opportunity to participate in a Marathon and Half Marathon in their town. Kennerly is also hoping that Palm Beach inclusion in the race will help the event expand its local philanthropic partnerships.
All runners are expected to complete the island leg of the race by 7:20 a.m., minimizing traffic and noise disruptions for island residents.
The FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon will include three days of races and activities December 1-3 culminating in the Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday morning. FITTEAM, a Palm Beach Gardens based healthy lifestyle company, has signed a three-year agreement to be the title sponsor. The remainder of the 26.2-mile Marathon course and 13.1 Half Marathon course will now be finalized.
K2 Sports Ventures acquired ownership of the former Eau Palm Beach Marathon & Run Fest from the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches last year. Kennerly has partnered with sports event veteran John Mathews of Sunshine State Races to produce the race. Mathews has 30 years of experience in sports marketing and has been staging distance races for more than a decade including the Amica Ironman 70.3 and United Healthcare Marathon in Rhode Island, the Turning Stone Races in New York and the Fort Myers Marathon each November on the Southwest coast of Florida.
“We are creating one of the premier running experiences in the world,” Kennerly said. “It will be a three-day weekend experience for runners and their families to come and enjoy everything we have in Palm Beach County.
“We hope to bring in Fireworks and entertainment that will differentiate this race from any other. And being able to run a segment of our feature race on Palm Beach island will certainly set our race apart from most other distance races around the country and even around the world.”
For more information on The FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon, visit palmbeachesmarathon.com. In-season registration is open through October 31 at $100 for the Marathon, $80 for the Half Marathon and $35 for the 5K. Prices then increase an additional $5 through race week.