The Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Colavita is bringing you the thrill and challenge of a great weekend of events along with the entertainment and beauty that encapsulates Fort Lauderdale. There is no compromise when it comes to having some of the best entertainment along with a vibrant nightlife to house this premier event. Our better than a fantasy approach will knock you out of your socks once you have made the Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Colavita Weekend a stop on your race schedule.
Our event provides the perfect winter destination event & getaway! While the rest of the country is fighting cold temperatures, we are treated to warm weather with temperatures ranging between 60-75 degrees.
From The Florida Keys to Daytona Beach, the Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Colavita takes place in the perfect setting for a runners. With ocean breezes, palm trees and one of the most famous roads in America, this 26.2-mile course is one of the fastest and scenic in the state.
The Fort Lauderdale Publix A1A Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Colavita features athletes from throughout South Florida, more than 40 states and 12 foreign countries competing annually in what has become the new signature event for the coastal area.
Run Fort Lauderdale… Where the Ocean is Your Finish Line!
Nice event, but cars on road
Event was well run and the post-race vibe was fun. BUT, the course was only Las Olas and back, and there were cars on the road at the same time! … MORE
Event was well run and the post-race vibe was fun. BUT, the course was only Las Olas and back, and there were cars on the road at the same time! What would it take to close the road from 7 – 11AM? And, it would be a LOT better for runners to not breathe in fumes…
Hot and windy
This was my first marathon. Probably not a good choice due to the heat and lack of shade on the course. Beautiful view though. If I do this race again, … MORE
This was my first marathon. Probably not a good choice due to the heat and lack of shade on the course. Beautiful view though. If I do this race again, I will only do the half marathon.
Scenic & Hot
Great course and pretty but I ran it during COVID so it wasn't the usual course or post-race party but seems like it would be a blast. This ended up … MORE
Great course and pretty but I ran it during COVID so it wasn’t the usual course or post-race party but seems like it would be a blast. This ended up being my worst performance ever due to the heat and knee problems. Nothing to do with the RD or organization. Definitely worth doing.
My absolute favorite!
Beautiful scenery the entire time. If you’re doing the full, the course thins out once the half runners leave to turn. It is an out and back course for the … MORE
Beautiful scenery the entire time. If you’re doing the full, the course thins out once the half runners leave to turn. It is an out and back course for the last good chunk. Course support was great! The expo was amazing with TONS of giveaways. The start line is perfect to get dropped off at, if you can! Early start makes for less heat and a beautiful sunrise. The finish line is amazing with SO much food! It’s great to hang out on the beach, grab a bite at one of the many local restaurants and enjoy the vendors at the finish line. Parking for spectators was easy as well. The medals are HUGE!! This is my favorite and a must do. The weather can be fairly cool (2020 started out in the low 50s) or a little warmer so prepare for options.
PR Train coming through!
Holy cow! This is an absolutely amazing race. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking to PR. Make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The early race start is great because … MORE
Holy cow! This is an absolutely amazing race. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking to PR. Make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The early race start is great because you are in the dark, it’s not too hot yet, and there are still people out there cheering you on. On the way back, you have plenty of shade from the tall buildings or the trees, but once you hit the shoreline at mile 23, you have no more shade so keep yourself extra hydrated and make sure you’re taking the water when you can.
Medal is GIGANTIC!!!! Keep it and wear it with pride.
Great Expo & Course. Electrolyte issues
I always start with this: if you are from up north, bring salt tabs. I live and train in Florida, so I always have them on me but I gave … MORE
I always start with this: if you are from up north, bring salt tabs.
I live and train in Florida, so I always have them on me but I gave some to a struggling runner and realized that I didn’t leave enough for myself.
I signed up for this the Thurdsay before the race because the Dublin (Ireland) marathon was my 20th and I really really wanted the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach to be my 30th, so I needed to get another one in before March 17th. Since I had a friend going to this one already for the half, I tagged along and told her that I would help pace her to a sub-2 half (up to mile 10) and go back to finish the marathon. It wasn’t her day, so she told me to go after mile 3.
They always have lots of vendors with lots of free stuff. I am a sucker for free sunglasses so if there is a wheel to spin, a plinko to play, or a brief survey, I’ll do it. We walked over from our hotel about an hour and a half before the expo closed so vendors were practically giving us boxes of snack bars and other little tchotchkes because they didn’t want to pack them all up. Michelob Ultra was handing out free beer, too, if you were of-age. Our weekend chauffeur indulged (I mean, we walked to the expo anyway.)
The goody bag was a non-woven cinch bag with the Publix logo on it and it had TONS of stuff in it: coconut water, protein pancake/flapjack mix, some snack bars, a little first aid kit, and the usual fliers that you expect in a race packet.
This is the first time that I got a shirt from this race that I didn’t put into my donation box as soon as I got home. (I ran this in 2014 and 2015 – both shirts were gray and terrible.) It was a nice slate blue color with the mermaid from the medal.
They did a rolling start this year which I liked. We were standing at the 9:00 mile point since we were shooting for a 9:04 average. The half and full marathons kick off at the same time. We were in the 2nd “wave”.
I didn’t have to get there super early since our chauffeur (my friend’s husband) dropped us off and we were really close to the start anyway. I always assess the portapotty situation because whenever people ask me about a race, they always want to know their pre-race plans. I didn’t have to use them but they had LOTS of them near the start. They didn’t have any trash cans/boxes, though which kind of bothered me because a lot of people fuel up before the start and their rubbish was thrown on the ground. I went on a search for a bin and found one in a parking garage.
The rolling start helped to alleviate bottlenecks but unless you have assigned corrals with vigilant volunteers, you’re never going to get rid of the people who walk a 17-minute mile and stand up at the front of the pack or people who run/walk and stop in the middle of the road with no warning.
At the beginning of the course, we go through a really cute shopping district and head over a bascule bridge that takes you to Seabreeze Blvd., where most of the course takes place. Overall, the course is very flat. There’s a point where we run through a little park where it is shaded (not that it matters because it is still early) but passes along a very pretty inlet where you can see the nice houses with their boats tethered to the docks. ☺ So pretty.
Once we’re out of the park, we travel north on A1A for about 2 miles before the half-marathoners turn to finish their course.
The water stations were well-stocked and we had some surprisingly enthusiastic volunteers this year. I think that is awesome.
They served something called “Body Armour” for the electrolyte drink. It was very sugary and made my teeth feel gross. I wasn’t happy with its alleged electrolyte content because – as I said – I went through all of my salt pills and gave some to a struggling runner I saw along the way.
I stopped at a Medical Tent and asked if they had any salt packets, salt pills, etc. (I think that I did this in 2014, too) and they looked at me as if an arm was growing out of my forehead. I didn’t think that it would be unlikely for a person running in 75ºF + heat to be asking about salt -especially in South Florida.
•The search for electrolytes•
Since I knew that the Body Armour drink wasn’t cutting it and that I had no more salt pills on my person, I started to keep an eye out for gas stations or fast food restaurants who might be open early enough for me to run in and grab some packets off their condiment bar. No luck, so I stopped and asked a neighbor if he knew if any locations like this were along the course and he told me, “no, not on the strip, but I can have something on the way back- what do you need?” I told him “Salt.” He said “like, SALT salt?” “Yep – just table salt. Whatever you have. I’d take road salt at this point.” Them, another runner reached into his pocket and offered me a salted prune. I was intrigued so I took it. WOW! it was definitely salty. He told me that he got them from Trinidad (where he came in from). That thing held me over for 2 miles. (Too bad we were only just past the 13 mark where the Marathon Maniacs were handing out Popsicles and had Swedish Fish and Rold Gold pretzels set up on a table. HALLELUJAH, PRETZELS! I grabbed a few and sucked the salt off of them.)
As we made our way into Pompano Beach, the sun was getting to the point where the seaside hotels no longer provided shade, but the run along Pompano is very nice and the sea breeze was a delight. The course winds around a neighborhood and there’s an awkward section where those running out have to cross over the path where returning runners are coming back. If you’re thinking of cutting the course and just turning around – think again. There is a mat at the point where we head back, so you don’t want to miss that checkpoint.
I tried to alert oncoming runners of the pretzel table because I could see runners stopping to massage their muscles, I saw a guy in front of me who had swollen hands- it looked like he had no wrist, he was so swollen. As we came up to mile 20-ish at El Prado Park (I looked it up), there was a little market set up and a guy was grilling up some REALLY good-smelling BBQ. I stopped and asked him if he had any salt. My savior! He poured a generous amount of table salt into my hand an I got a funny look (or two, or three, who cares?) as I started licking my palm to get every grain of it, but I’ll tell you what: as soon as it made its way into my system, I was good to go.
The last 5 miles was just about trying to stay cool because there is no shade. I ALWAYS run with a washcloth so I can wipe whatever salt that I lose off my skin, so I just kept getting it wet a the water stations and wiping myself down. A few years ago, I used one of those beach-side showers to cool off. As I passed people on the way in and saw a lady being attended to by the Fire Department, I felt bad for not carrying more salt tablets with me, but there were about 1,000 marathoners on this course and you can’t help them all.
As I’ve noticed is typical with events sponsored by Publix, they always put their inflatable arch about 400 ft from the finish line, so if someone says “you’re almost there, you can see it,” no, you;re not. You might see the Publix arch in the distance, but don’t sprint yet. You have another ¼ mile to go. You can’t even see the finish line until you are practically by the arch anyway because you have to make a slight turn.
The medal was beautiful. The lanyard was beautiful. The volunteers had ice, water, more Body Armour sugar water waiting at the finish line. Zephyr Hills water had more free sunglasses. I know that there is always LOTS of stuff at that finish line area, but – alas- when your half marathon friends have been waiting around for you to finish, it’s had to ask them to stay longer so you can enjoy what there is to offer.
I know that I griped about the electrolyte situation a lot but I really do like this race. This is the 3rd time that I’ve done it and the course is beautiful. It’s a nice size. The event production is nice. The expo is awesome, and Ft. Lauderdale is really pretty. I said that I wasn’t doing any more races in Florida unless I was pacing it but I’m sure that I can get talked into this one again.
Sorry for the long-winded review, but:
This was a very well run race with great volunteers, aid stations swag and food at the end. I went for some winter sun and a cooler race but it … MORE
This was a very well run race with great volunteers, aid stations swag and food at the end. I went for some winter sun and a cooler race but it was quite hot despite being february. Fun nonetheless
FTL Marathon: Give it an "A1A" rating!
The Lauderdale Marathon delivers on all promises. It's flat, fast, scenic and well run. Like any race, the weather is always the wild card. The 2018 edition was one hot, … MORE
The Lauderdale Marathon delivers on all promises. It’s flat, fast, scenic and well run. Like any race, the weather is always the wild card. The 2018 edition was one hot, humid whamma-jamma! 70 degrees at the Start and over 80 at the Finish. Running east towards the sunrise at Mile 3 is spectacular. There’s a scenic circuit through Birch State Park at Mile 5, then back to Hwy A1A. The northernmost turn-around point consists of a circuit through an elegant neighborhood with beautiful, palatial homes at Mile 15-16. Then, due south to the Finish. There was an inflatable Publix “false finish” archway at Mile 26 (that’s just mean!) that caused me to initiate a “false kick” a bit too early. But, a great medal, lots of food choices and cold beer were waiting at the true Finish to ease the agony of da’ feet. For the Foodies and Brewies out there, check out Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox for a great burger and stop by one of the many microbreweries for a cold one; Funky Buddha, Bangin’ Banjo, Invasive Species. Gotta love those names!
One of my favorites
There are Tons of recovery food options at the finish and a great Expo beforehand. A beautiful sunrise to watch while you run along the beach on A1A is a … MORE
There are Tons of recovery food options at the finish and a great Expo beforehand. A beautiful sunrise to watch while you run along the beach on A1A is a bonus also!
Running with the Sunrise!
Very beautiful race starting in Fort Lauderdale downtown early in the morning when the sun is rising. After the start in downtown runners run towards the ocean with the rising … MORE
Very beautiful race starting in Fort Lauderdale downtown early in the morning when the sun is rising. After the start in downtown runners run towards the ocean with the rising sun ahead. Most of the course is along the oceanfront. Finish at the beach! Wonderful flat race!