Annual ‘Donna Marathon’ weekend kicks off Friday

Aleesia Hatcher joins us from Jacksonville Beach as the annual Donna Marathon Weekend kicks off.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It will be a weekend full of running in Jacksonville. The annual Donna Marathon weekend kicks off Friday and ends Sunday.

This year’s theme of the race weekend is “Destination Donna,” which is celebrating Donna marathon weekend as a beautiful destination race inviting both locals and visitors to the city of Jacksonville and The Beaches to celebrate breast cancer survivorship.

The theme also reinforces The Donna Foundation’s destination vision of a future without breast cancer as it celebrates its 20th anniversary year.

Thousands of runners and walkers are expected downtown and in Jacksonville Beach to help end breast cancer.

There’s a new route for the marathon this year. The 26.2 miles will be on a loop.

Before that race, runners in the Donna 5K and Donna Dash will take over part of downtown.

They will run through the heart of Downtown Jacksonville’s Sports District, starting and finishing at TIAA Bank Field.

Then on Sunday, there are two races: a marathon and a half-marathon.

The 13-mile loop goes through Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach -- which means if you’re headed to the beaches, plan for traffic delays and limited street parking.

MAPS: Marathon and half marathon route | Traffic impacts and road closures

This is the first year the full race schedule is being offered since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020.

That includes Saturday’s 110-mile ultra-marathon which takes off from TIAA Bank Field and finishes at Atlantic Beach.

Sunday’s runs start at 7:27 a.m. for racers in wheelchairs.

The rest of the runners will begin at 7:30 a.m. from Seawalk Pavillion at Jacksonville Beach.