In five short years, “Mount Dora Half Marathon and 5K” has earned accolades from serious runners across the state. The low rolling hills, majestic oak canopy and beautiful lakefront course make the race one of Florida's most challenging and scenic.
This Sunday's event, almost 90% booked at time of publication, takes over the streets of downtown on December 18. In addition to runners and walkers, the event hosts vendors at the Evans Park finish line and attracts approximately 2500 spectators, according to race organizer Vickie Blate.
This year the event's special guest will be America’s own two-time Olympic medalist Frank Shorter. Shorter won the gold medal in the marathon in the 1972 Olympics and the silver in 1976. He will be running in this weekend's 5k.
Bill Rodgers, four-time Boston and New York City marathon winner, is another special guest of the event.
An expo is scheduled this Saturday, at the Donnelly Park Building where Shorter and Rodgers will sell and sign books, as well as share fitness tips. Both races begin at Evans Park dowtown. The half marathon starts at 7 a.m. followed by the 5k at 7:15 a.m.
Participants can register in person at Evans Park from 5:30 to 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18. Drivers should anticipate traffic delays and detours throughout Mount Dora on the morning of the race.