Runner's weather forecast for 'The Donna'

What conditions should runners expect along Sunday's course

Participants in the 11th annual Donna Marathon
Participants in the 11th annual Donna Marathon

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sunday thousands of runners will hit the pavement for the Donna Marathon to 'finish breast cancer.'  Many of this weekend's runners will strive to run 26.2 miles along coastal Duval and St. Johns counties, while others will opt for a shorter distance runs -- a half marathon and 5K.

For trained and experienced runners and even for novice athletes, weather conditions on the day of the race play an important role in how well the marathoners feel and ultimately perform. 

After studying race data and weather conditions from a series of Olympic events, researchers at the University of Tulsa determined the best outdoor temperatures for optimal running performance. 

For long-distance male runners, the prime temperature is 49.4° and for women, the temperature for optimal performance is slightly higher at 51.8°.

Florida runners may find these cooler temperatures slightly uncomfortably or at least less than ideal. However, cooler outdoor temperatures are often exactly what the body needs to be surrounded by as you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement. 

If it's too hot outside, it makes it difficult for your body's cooling mechanisms to work properly. The cooler temperatures create a happy medium for the hard-working, sweating body.

So, with the ideal running temperatures in mind, let's get to actual forecast Sunday.

Despite the slight cool down predicted over the weekend, temperatures will not fall into the 40s, but conditions will still be on the milder side. The race will start and finish at the Beaches Towne Center in Neptune Beach at 7:30 a.m.

Runner's Hour-By-Hour Forecast for Sunday

  • 6 a.m. - 58° - 16 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 7 a.m. - 58° - 16 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 8 a.m. - 58° - 16 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 9 a.m. - 59° - 15 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 10 a.m. - 61° - 14 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 11 a.m. - 62° - 14 mph NE winds, 30% chance for rain
  • 12 p.m. - 62° - 13 mph E winds, 30% chance for rain