No. Each runner MUST be supported by a crew in 2024, but up to 3 runners may share one crew. Every runner must clearly identify the crew chief supporting them and all crew members must be registered as "volunteers".
Team members do not have to run the same number of miles or the same number of legs. The team decides its own strategy and can even make changes on the fly. Over the years, most teams have found that their finishing times are better, and recovery is faster if each teammate runs multiple short legs vs. two or three long ones. So, most teams will use each of the permitted exchange locations to change runners and will decide in advance which mate will run the longest legs—like Seven Mile Bridge and Long Key Bridge.
100-mile teams may include fewer than six (6) runners, but no more than six. 50-mile teams may include two or three runners. Teams may be all male, all female, or co-ed at the team's discretion. The Master's division is also available for teams where each member is 40 years of age or older. Each relay team will be self-supported during the race. Well before race day, meeting in person (or on a conference call) a few times will allow people on the team to get to know each other, help to set proper expectations, decide on responsibilities including vehicle drivers, hotel selection, arranging for a vehicle, buying pooled items like water, ice, etc., running leg assignments and more.
Because there is only one road in and out of the Keys, and if we create traffic problems we will not be invited back. Our invitation to race is not a right; by being conscientious and responsible guests we earn the privilege to race in this beautiful place one more time.
KEYS100 follows US Highway #1, known in the Florida Keys as "Overseas Highway", for nearly 100 miles, from Key Largo until approximately the last four miles in Key West, where the course turns left onto South Roosevelt Blvd. and follows the wide ocean sidewalk along the Atlantic Ocean shore to the finish line at Higgs Beach. Approximately 75-80% of the race is run on portions of the "Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail"--bike trails, sidewalks, side roads, service lanes and pedestrian bridges--with the balance FACING TRAFFIC on the US#1 road shoulder. So, it is not specifically the runners, themselves, who are the subject of many of these rules, but the vehicles that runners use to support themselves as teams or individuals. Pulling off the road and entering it, driving and maintaining an appropriate speed, signaling intent, parking safely in an approved location, NOT parking where we haven’t been invited and general courtesy to others on the road are most important and most often abused. Protecting the safety of runners and other race participants as well as other drivers, pedestrians and people on bikes, not disrupting commerce nor the local resident’s Saturday shopping trip or visitor’s scenic drive—these things are our responsibility and the reason for our strict course, vehicle and traffic rules.
And, the safety of our runners: In many locations where we must run on the road shoulder, it is narrow and, therefore, potentially dangerous. That is especially true on some of the bridges that connect island to island. Overseas Highway is a heavily traveled road. It is a mix of two and four-lane highway, with lower speed limits through towns and heavily settled areas, but higher speeds elsewhere. As you will be frequently reminded, when running on the road shoulder, racers and pacers MUST run on the ocean side facing traffic and only cross the highway where indicated. This is also the reason why wearing appropriately visible night gear is an absolute must.
Yes. And race-installed portable toilets will be located at strategic locations. US#1 includes commercial facilities like gas stations, convenience stores and the like at many points along its length, but there are long stretches where there is no commercial development. In the Lower Keys—i.e., beyond Marathon—where the population is more sparse, very few facilities stay open all night. For bathrooms, if using a business' facilities, show support by buying something if at all possible. If told "No", please be polite; some locations in the Keys are still not connected to public sewer so accommodation is limited. Below Seven Mile Bridge, bathrooms or portable toilets are available at roughly five-mile intervals, or closer. The list of “Runner Meet-Up Locations” includes many of these bathroom options. Note: Public bathrooms with outside showers are available at the finish line on Higgs Beach.
A. Total time allowed to complete the race
100-mile individual and team races: 32 hours to complete the course begins when you cross the start line timing mat.
50-mile race: 20 hours to complete the course beginning when you cross the start line timing mat.
50-kilometer race: 12 hours to complete the course beginning when you cross the start line timing mat.
B. Interim cut-offs
For 2024, the following cut-offs will be enforced at each of these timing "stations". All runners and teams must cross all timing mats before the sites close. Failure to make all cut-offs will be considered "DNF"—"Did Not Finish".
Mile Marker 90 at Coral Shores High School: 11:00am
Mile Marker 74.9, just past Shady Cove Avenue: 3:00pm
Mile Market 59.3 at Keys Cable Park: 8:30pm
Mile Marker 50 at Marathon Garden Club: 11:00pm
Mile Marker 40 at Veterans Park, west end of Seven Mile Bridge: 2:00am (Sunday)
Mile Marker 25 at Dion's store on Summerland Key: 7:00am (Sunday)
Mile Marker 10 at Circle K Shell station on Big Coppitt Key: Noon (Sunday)
There are no interim cut-offs for 50-mile and 50-kilometer runners and teams.
Medical staff will be driving the route or stationed at certain locations on the course. They will also be present at the finish line. Contact phone numbers will be provided all runners and teams. However, unless otherwise noted in pre-race instructions, emergency “911” service in the Keys should be used if race medical support is not immediately available and in emergency situations.
Race medical personnel may prevent a runner from continuing the race if, in their judgment, the runner's condition justifies it. Runners who receive medical help MAY continue the race, but only if given the okay by the assisting medical personnel. Runners receiving an IV for any reason may NOT continue the race.
Medical staff do not have a responsibility to tape feet and provide similar blister support. Such help should not be an expectation. Runners themselves, their support crew or teammates should be prepared accordingly. Refer to Jon Vonhof's "Fixing Your Feet" for everything you'd ever want to know about the subject.
All medical, hospital or emergency evacuation costs for participants and crew members will be borne by that person or his/her heirs. The race organizers are in no way liable or responsible for medical costs or emergency evacuation. Please refer to "Accident Waiver and Release of Liability" form for related details.
Yes, it is! Racing KEYS100 should not be undertaken lightly—at any distance. In 2023, only 53.7% of individual 100-mile runners completed the race, almost entirely as a result of heat-related factors. In 2022 that figure was 52%! Most years, the finishing percentage is between 52% and 70%. Sunny, hot and humid is the likely scenario in mid-late May in the sub-tropical Florida Keys. Generally speaking, the combination of temperature, humidity and intensity of the sun will be at least as challenging a factor as the distance. The vast majority of those who do not finish the race site heat-related reasons. Temperatures are likely to reach the high 80's or low 90's with high humidity. Sudden rain squalls are always possible in the Keys, and these are frequently accompanied by gusty winds. Fortunately, most storms are of short duration. Runners should seek shelter during heavy rain showers to wait them out, especially if accompanied by thunder and lightning. Never before run in the heat? We suggest you race one of the shorter distances first, then go longer in following years.
Minimizing the impact of the heat is an ongoing challenge. In addition to adequate fluid and salt/mineral intake, use ice in hats and bandanas or soak head coverings in water liberally to keep cool. Begin doing these things before becoming overheated. Again, the primary reasons for not completing KEYS100 are overwhelmingly heat related. Train and plan your race accordingly.
N/A. That responsibility belongs to your crew--or teammates.
After your crew picks you up, contact the race timer or or notify a timing station so that we know you are leaving the course. At check-in, you will receive a staff roster with that contact information.
If you have hotel reservations in Key West, be aware that check-in for most properties is 4:00 pm and flexibility is not generally one of their strong suits. Consider this carefully when booking your reserved date(s). Many runners who have dropped early have had to spend up to double-digit hours waiting for their room to be ready.
Individual runners must check-in and pick up their race packets, racing bibs with timing chips, vehicle signs, Race Guide, etc., prior to the race. For 2024, packet check-in on Friday will be at the tiki hut on the grounds of the Key Largo Holiday Inn. Check-in for 50 mile and 50 kilometer runners will be in Marathon and Big Pine Key, respectively, before each race start, at or near the race start locations. 50-mile and 50-kilometer runners also have the option of picking-up their items on Friday in Key Largo.
The team captain or a representative must pick-up race packets for ALL team members
Check-in/packet pick-up and "Experts Panel" schedule
100 mile races: on Friday, between the hours of 3:00pm and 8:00pm, at the tiki hut next to the Holiday Inn pool, Key Largo. An optional "Experts Panel" will be held inside from 4:00pm until 5:30pm. This will include a final pre-race update from the race director and Q&A from the floor.
50 mile races: on race morning, Saturday, between 7:15am and 8:45am, drive-by packet pick-up at St. Columba Episcopal Church, located behind the Marathon Garden Club on 52nd Street. A pre-race wrap-up from the race director will take place at 8:45am at the start line.
50 kilometer race: between 10:30am and 11:50am on race day, packet pick-up will be in Big Pine Key, at the rear of the Chamber of Commerce property. Pre-race comments from the race director will take place at the start line at 11:45am.
REMINDER: ALL RUNNERS, TEAM MEMBERS AND CREW , WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE VIEWED ONLINE ORIENTATION, WILL BE EXPECTED TO FULLY KNOW THE RULES AND WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO COMPLY WITH THEM.
"The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys" has been the principal recipient of KEYS100 fundraising and donations for nearly 15 years. The "Foundation" assists qualified cancer patients living in the Florida Keys in their quest for education and treatment for their disease, whenever and wherever possible. The "Foundation" sponsors free cancer screenings, and provides direct financial support to patients and their families while undergoing treatment when other sources of financial assistance have been denied or exhausted.
Since 1998, the "Cancer Foundation" has been providing support to patients and their families from Key Largo to Key West with financial assistance, educational materials, cancer screenings, emotional support, information and referral services for prostate, breast, colon and other forms of cancer. All runners, crew, family and friends are urged to donate generously in support of this important work. Donations to "The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, Inc." are tax deductible.