By NewsLine Staff
mail@floridanewsline.com

This weekend, Feb. 8 – 11, join Donna Deegan and thousands of runners, walkers and spectators as they experience a reimagined DONNA Marathon Weekend with its start and finish in the heart of Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach. With Beaches Town Center now the epicenter of weekend events, locals and visitors have choices to shop, dine, relax and now race! Listed as Women’s Running Magazine’s “favorite charity race,” 26.2 with DONNA The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer is the only marathon in the country dedicated to breast cancer research and care.

“We believe the Beaches Town Center, with its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment, will provide runners with a unique beach destination experience,” said event founder Donna Deegan. “This is what runners are telling us they want. A beautiful running venue and one that also offers a welcoming fan experience and exciting post-race celebration.”

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Now in its 12th year, DONNA Marathon Weekend events include a 5K, marathon, half marathon and race expo, all taking place on the island. The shift means the Intracoastal Bridge is no longer a part of the route. That makes the Boston Marathon-qualifying course, already one of Florida’s fastest, an even greater opportunity for setting new personal records.

The theme of the 2019 DONNA Marathon Weekend is #TogetherWeWILL, aimed at inspiring everyone through the power of working together. It is a reminder that together we help our friends, family and community achieve monumental goals. Together, we push each other to run a little faster, walk a little further and give a little more, because together we can, and we will.

Since its inception in 2008, DONNA Marathon Weekend has raised nearly $6 million in funding for The DONNA Foundation, moving over 12,000 families living with breast cancer from a place of fear to one of love by providing assistance and support when it is needed most. The DONNA Foundation has also disbursed more than $3.3 million of race proceeds to the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Research Program.

Marathon Weekend Events:

FRIDAY | FEBRUARY 8, 2019

Social Shakeout Run

This event is free and open to the public. Race founders Donna Deegan, Olympian and Training Director Jeff Galloway, and Dr. Edith Perez will be participating in the run. A three-mile run/walk will begin at 8 a.m.

WHEN: 8 a.m.

WHERE: Southern Grounds, 200 1st Street, Neptune Beach

 

DONNA Packet Pickup & Community Expo presented by Puma Biotechnology

This event is free and open to the public with complimentary parking included. Your reimagined DONNA Marathon Weekend brings the DONNA Health & Fitness Expo to the beach! We are transforming the “Old K-Mart” and rolling out the pink carpet to our entire community. Registration and packet pickup for all events will be available.

WHEN: Open 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

WHERE: 500 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach

 

SATURDAY | FEBRUARY 9, 2019

 

DONNA 5K presented by AXA and Jaguars Foundation/
Family Fun Run presented by Jaguars Foundation / DONNA 110 Ultra Marathon

5K participants earn our signature Running Ribbon medal and experience a reimagined 5K at the beach! DONNA ultra-marathon athletes also begin their 110 miles to finish breast cancer.

WHEN:

  • 6 a.m. Registration and Packet Pickup Opens inside the “K-Mart” Expo
  • 7 a.m. JAXSON DE VILLE Arrives!
  • 7:30 a.m. Warm up with David Garrard, former NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback and owner of Retro Fitness, Personal Trainers of the DONNA.
  • 7:30 a.m. 110 Start
  • 8 a.m. 5K Start
  • 9 a.m. Family Fun Run Start

WHERE: Beaches Town Center

 

DONNA Packet Pickup & Community Expo presented by Puma Biotechnology

This event is free and open to the public with complimentary parking included. Return for Day 2 of the DONNA Health & Fitness Expo. Shop, sip and sample from nearly 100 exhibitors. So much fun you might forget to pick up your race packet! (But don’t do that.)

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: 500 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach

SUNDAY | FEBRUARY 10, 2019

26.2 with DONNA Marathon, DONNA Half Marathon, DONNA Booby Trap Challenge presented by FIS

The main event of the DONNA Marathon Weekend now starts and finishes in the heart of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach, and meanders through Jacksonville’s four beach communities. A USATF certified and Boston Marathon qualifier, expect fast times in 2019 with a flatter, faster course design.

WHEN:

  • 4 a.m. Shuttle Parking Opens at UNF Lot 18
  • 5 a.m. Runner’s Village Opens
  • 7:27 a.m. Wheelchair Start
  • 7:30 a.m. Start

WHERE: Beaches Town Center

 

Amgen Runners’ Village and Post Race Party

Plan to meet and celebrate with family and friends at the DONNA Post Race Party inside Amgen Runners Village. Enjoy a Michelob Ultra, our Official Beer, hot dogs courtesy of Sawyer Gas & Grill and recover with a massage in the CORA Sports Medicine Tent.

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

WHERE: Beaches Town Center

 GENERAL INFORMATION

Registration for DONNA Marathon Events Open Through Feb. 9

Online Registration continues through Saturday, Feb. 9 and on-site at the Expo during DONNA Marathon Weekend.

Participant Drop-Off and Rideshare

All weekend, a designated area for drop-off and rideshare services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) will be available in the Expo parking area at 500 Atlantic Blvd. Please approach the area from Atlantic Blvd. east.

Bicycle Parking

All weekend, bicycle “valet” parking will be available at the Expo. Roll-up to the garden center entrance and we’ll take care of the rest.

Parking for Saturday Races

The DONNA 5K and Family Fun Run will be held in the Beaches Town Center. Parking is available on a first come, first served basis from the Expo parking area.

Marathon Sunday Shuttles

There will be free parking for all participants at the University of North Florida, Lot 18 beginning at 4 a.m. race morning. Continuous shuttle service to the start/finish will run from 4 a.m. – 4 p.m. Please arrive early and allow time for traffic delays.

Road Closures

  • Note that access to communities along the route may be inhibited for up to seven hours beginning at 6 a.m. on race day. Please plan for delays.
  • Access to Beaches Town Center may be inhibited beginning Friday, February 8 at 12 p.m. through Sunday, February 10 at 7 p.m.
  • 3rd St. northbound will be closed at Florida Blvd. Sunday, February 10 from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m.
  • Atlantic Blvd. westbound will be closed at 3rd St. to Royal Palms Dr. Sunday, February 10 from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m.

The DONNA Foundation, a private non-profit organization in Northeast Florida, provides assistance and support nationwide to those living with breast cancer and funds groundbreaking research to finish the disease once and for all. The organization participates in a variety of community outreach initiatives, educational programs and fundraising events yearly to support its mission, including hosting the only national marathon to finish breast cancer – The DONNA. To date, the foundation has served more than 12,000 families in need and disbursed nearly $6 million to fuel programs that move families from a place of fear to a place of love. Learn more about The DONNA Foundation, visit http://www.thedonnafoundation.org.

Photo courtesy The DONNA Foundation

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