Annual marathon to kick off at FSU

The Tallahassee Marathon and Half Marathon will be held Feb. 8, and will start on Florida State University's campus.

The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. at FSU on Chieftan Way in front of the FSU Circus. This is Tallahassee's 41st annual marathon and has been held since 1975. The half marathon has been held since the 1980s. This is the 12th year it will start at Florida State University.

American runner and best-selling author of “Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide,” Hal Higdon, will also be a featured guest speaker at the Expo at 4 p.m.

Adriana Sousa, a Tallahassee resident, will attend the event because she’s a fan of Higdon.

“I enjoy the conversational nature of Higdon's writing,” Sousa said. “Reading Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide felt like listening to a friend relay experiences and advice about their journey with running.”

The event will be donating one half of its proceeds to the American Lung Association of Florida. The remainder of the proceeds will be given to the Gulf Winds Track Club in support of the next Tallahassee Marathon in 2016.

The prize money structure for the marathon starts at $2,000 awarded to the first place winner and $150 to the fifth place winner. The top three participants 40-years-and-over are awarded, $500, $250 and $100. Finishing metals will be handed out for both marathon and half-marathon winners.

Herb Wills, a board member of the Gulf Winds Track club and former FSU-cross country and track runner, has finished in the top 10 at the US Olympic Trials Marathon in 1988, has high expectations for the event.

“I would look for some of the fastest times ever in the 40-year history of the race,” Wills said. “The weather should be excellent, the course is flat and fast, and there are several athletes in the field with sub-2:20 marathons among their credentials.”

Aid stations will be provided at the start and finish line and near mile markers 2/25, 4/23, 6/21, 8/19, 10/17, 12/15, and 13.5. Gatorade and GU Energy Gel will be served.

The minimum age requirement for the full marathon is at least 16 and the half marathon is at least 14. Participants younger than 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent.

“I'd love to participate in the marathon, but I am out of practice for long distance running. I probably will just watch the finish,” said Miles Menendez, a senior Florida A&M University English student from Naples, Fla.

Competitors in wheelchairs are welcome to participate in the marathon.