ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — This weekend, a record 6,500 runners will hit the streets of St. Petersburg for the St. Pete Run Fest. The event hosts a 10K and a 5K race on Saturday morning along with a kids run, and new this year is a dog walk event at noon. The event’s half marathon race is Sunday morning.
The start line is in front of the Dali Museum and winds through the iconic sights of St. Petersburg. During the 6.2 miles of the 10K race and the 3.1 mile 5K, runners race on Central Avenue and make a loop around the St. Pete Pier.
The 1-mile kids run for ages 5-13 starts later Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. There are even shorter distances for toddlers.
On Sunday, runners in the half marathon take off at 7 a.m. and race past the USF St Pete campus, the Grand Central & Warehouse Arts districts before heading down Central Avenue. The longer 13.1-mile course also takes runners past the Vinoy Resort and into the Snell Isle neighborhood.
“When you look around, I mean, St. Pete is still the star of the show,” said Ryan Jordan, co-founder of St. Pete Run Fest. “As much as we want to take credit for the growth and success, the city of St. Petersburg may have something to do with that too.”
The race has partnered with the St. Pete Free Clinic food bank every year. The Free Clinic provides food for 19,000 people each month along with free medical care.
“We really got behind their mission early when we started St. Pete Run Fest. Every year, we’ve donated a certain percentage of every entry to the Free Clinic. Last year, 5500 meals were donated on our behalf and all the runners’ behalf,” said Jordan.
This year, the race is helping St. Pete Free Clinic with sustainability by providing reusable bags for the food when it’s distributed, limited single-use plastic bags.