Panama City Beach Marathon Tips: What Visitors Need to Know

The Panama City Beach Marathon encourages people from all over the Southeast to run for a good cause. Hosted by the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, this sporting event offers a full and half marathon, 5K and kid’s fun run activities. Whether planning a winter getaway to attend the event or you just want to participate, there is some need-to-know info. Read on to learn more about the marathon and this beach-loving city.

General Info About the Marathon

For all races in the Panama City Beach Marathon, the CVB states that roads will not be closed, and although traffic is light in December, use caution. Additionally, visitors must register for the full, half and 5k, and there is no race day registration. To guarantee a spot, register online before November 30.

Panama City Beach Marathon Race Locations

panama city beach marathon pier park

Photo: Panama City Beach Marathon

Early December welcomes guests and participants alike to enjoy cooler temperatures, sunshine and Gulf Coast views. The full marathon measures 26.2 miles, with the start and finish line located near Margaritaville on Pier Park Drive. Runners make their way along the strip, loop around in the St. Andrews State Park area and head back up the strip. Hours for the main marathon will run 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bonus: Runners with a qualifying time based on age and gender groups will be eligible to register for the 2019 Boston marathon in Massachusetts.

Half Marathon

Those looking for a shorter route will enjoy the half-marathon in Panama City Beach, which measures 13.1 miles and starts and finishes in the same location as the full. This marathon takes participants down Front Beach Road and a few miles on Thomas Drive before they head back to Pier Park.

Try the 5K Race

Visitors interested in the 5K will start at the same location, run 1.5 miles past Short Street before they head back another 1.6 miles to the finish line.

panama city beach marathon kids

Photo: Panama City Beach Marathon

Kid’s Fun Run

Kids 10 and under – parents are welcome to assist – have the opportunity to run in a designated area located north of the start/finish line. Each child will receive a ribbon, and the kids run is free and open to all little ones with no registration required.

Post Race Events

After the event, join participants, friends, families and locals at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Marathon participants over the age of 21 will receive free gumbo and Land Shark beer courtesy of the restaurant. Other guests will receive a discount off merchandise and have a blast spending time with everyone.

panama city beach marathon family

Photo: Panama City Beach Marathon

Volunteer Opportunities

The Panama City Beach Marathon welcomes hundreds of racers and even more fans. To help, volunteer for the event and work aid stations, stuff goodie bags, hand out packets and monitor post race activities.

What to Wear

The marathon takes place in December, so mornings feel a little chilly with temperatures warming up throughout the day. Start the day off in comfortable running clothes and shoes, a jacket and sun protection. As the weather gets warmer, shed the jacket and find fruit, water and portalets along the way. If only attending the event, bring sun protection and wear light, comfortable clothing with a jacket.

panama city beach marathon vacation rental

Accommodations: Vacation Rentals in Panama City Beach

The Panama City Beach Marathon covers several main roads in the area, including Front Beach Road, South Lagoon Drive and Thomas Drive.

Located along these main strips, racers and attendees will find a variety of vacation rental accommodations. In addition, many of these rentals are located in resort areas, providing guests with extra amenities and comfortable space, so they can relax before and after the marathon.

A few rental resorts in the area include: Long Beach Resort, Tidewater Beach Resort and Edgewater Beach Resort. All of these complexes are located on Front Beach Road and offer ample space, full kitchens, communal pools, private balconies, and pristine Gulf views.