When you live on Florida’s east coast, or when you vacation here, running on the beach is a given. In Ormond Beach you have the great opportunity to take in the salt sea air, beautiful rolling waves, and a little bit of history while possibly joining history with a personal record.
Easy and relatively safe categorizes this run. This run takes you between two popular parks in Ormond Beach. Round trip will fetch you approximately 3 miles. You can start on either end and simply turn around and head back to where you started. On the technical side it is relatively simple. If you prefer the challenge of soft sand you can run further away from the shore, though depending on the time of year and time you may to contend with beach-goers and, unfortunately, automobiles. The other option is to time your run with the tides and run during low tide. Central Florida beaches are known for extensive shore lines providing for long stretches of wet compact sand when during the low tide. Running closer to the tide has you chasing seagulls and skipping the lap waves, which can be fun.
Birthplace of Speed Park
I started this run at the Birthplace of Speed Park. Ormond Beach is nestled at the northern tip of Volusia County and sits in the shadow of a Speedway just a few miles south. Yet, when you take to the sand for this run you will be running on history. The World’s Most Famous Beach would not have the moniker were it not for the speed trials that occurred on on these sandy shores. Many a great auto racing enthusiast made it to Ormond Beach with their set of wheels to find out who was the fastest, which brought attention to racing and the region. The rest as they say is history. The City of Ormond Beach has a nice park paying homage to its history. The park provides bucolic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean with a small winding path with engraved stones telling the stories of these car racing giants. There also stands a replica of the original garage.
Departing from this point it is pretty straight forward. Run! Run at your pace and enjoy the sea salty air, the sound of the lapping waves and the expansive vistas of the ocean spread out before you. After your warm up get into your groove and set it on auto-pilot. You can potentially make a personal record, like the races before you. Depending on the wind strength and direction the straightaway on the firm sand provides an option to gain a few more second on the PR. At the same time, you can take it nice and easy and just enjoy being on the shoreline.
Running on the beach can be deceptive. What seems close by is really far away and what seems quite a distance is on top of you before you know it. When you set out, if you don’t have an endpoint you can keep on running and running and running until your tired. Then there is very little fuel in the tank for the return run. But worry not. This run has you covered.
Andy Romano Beach Front Park
Once you set off from the Birthplace of Speed Park you can take your pace and ‘set it and forget it’ until you reach Andy Romano Beach Front Park. This is an amazing beach front park built by the City of Ormond Beach for its residents and visitors. You will know when you arrive. The park sits atop the sandy beach with its playground, splashpad, and pavilion.
It is quite an enjoyable park. In fact, if you are heading out for your beach run with the intent of staying at the beach for the balance of the day, I’d recommend starting the run at Andy Romano Beach Front Park going to the Birthplace of Speed Park and then finishing strong back at ARBFP. Once you click that last mile you can set off towards the crisp Atlantic waters to cool off and then spend the rest of the afternoon chilling at the beach. The park has many amenities to keep you satiated and having fun. Additionally, just across the street there is Restaurant Row, a handful of restaurants that can help get that sand out of your mouth and fill your belly with some delicious Florida comfort food.
As always, enjoy the run. When you are in Florida on the east central Florida coast, be sure to enjoy the run on the beach.