This past week, we went on an adventure to the Florida Keys, and I got to experience running in Duck Key for the first time. You know I’m always about continuing my fitness regimen, even when I’m on vacation, and I was very lucky to be able to keep on that trend!
All About Duck Key
Duck Key is an island located between Islamorada and Marathon on US1/Overseas Highway, and is home to the Hawks Cay Resort, in addition to some private properties. It is about 405 acres in size, with several paved roads winding through the resort and adjacent neighborhoods. Of course, as an island, it is surrounded by the ocean, and benefits from both sunrise and sunset views.
The island offers a few different options for routes. You can go out on resort property, which doesn’t offer a lot of distance, but you can make it work if you make use of all the little sidewalks around the buildings, pools, parking lots, dolphin enclosures, and lagoon. There is even some terrain variety with asphalt, sand, gravel, and boardwalk. Next, you can venture out on the island and work your way through the streets. If you leave the island entirely, you can use the shoulder on the Overseas Highway to go north or south for quite some time. This is not the safest option, as there is zero protection from cars on the narrow road. Finally, Hawks Cay Resort boasts an onsite fitness center, so you can opt for a treadmill run there. Obviously, that wasn’t my choice.
Winter Weather In The Keys
January in Duck Key can go either way as far as weather is concerned. The temperatures promised to be pleasant (in the low to mid 70s during our trip), but the wind and clouds made it feel much colder. This restricted our water activities, but it made running in Duck Key pretty pleasant. I only needed tanks, shorts, and sunglasses. and I was fine, even on the mornings that dipped into the 50s.
Challenges To Running In Duck Key
As with all things, there are some challenges. For the most part, Duck Key is a fabulous place to run, but there were a few things to keep an eye on.
At the moment, there is a lot of construction taking place (I assume it is fixing hurricane damage from the last set of storms). That means there are a lot of big trucks rolling in and out, as well as small stretches of unoccupied homes or vacant lots, and uneven streets. None of this was an immediate concern, but I didn’t venture off property until the sky brightened a little.
Duck Key is also home to several bridges. This was great to get a little elevation in and have a wonderful view of the water and sunrises, but most of the bridges lack a pedestrian sidewalk, so be wary as you go.
Finally, one of the brides was completely under construction and fairly impassable, while the other was definitely quite ripped up. Again, I just adjusted my route and picked up my feet. Problem solved.
Highlights Of Running In Duck Key
Whenever you’re in a tropical location, the sights tend to be quite beautiful, and this was no different. I made it a point to get up early enough to catch the sunrise every day. There is nothing better.
On leaving my room, I took my time around the pool and lagoon area. It was always so pretty in the early light.
And of course, no day was complete without saying hello to my dolphin friends. There are seven rescue dolphins who live in the lagoon on property, and they were so vocal and engaging! It should come as no shock that my path always led to that lagoon.
And That’s A Wrap
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and we are back in NE Florida with zero dolphins and no lagoons, but that’s ok. It was wonderful to have a little running escape for a few days, and I was so grateful for the chance to explore!
Do you run out in your destination when you’re on vacation or stick to the treadmill? Anyone else in love with dolphins and sunrises like me?
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