Honda Classic Executive Director Commits To Expand Profile Of Annual Endurance Race
Fresh off another successful staging of The Honda Classic, Kenneth R. Kennerly, the event's Executive Director, is now focusing his efforts on growing another major event in Palm Beach County.
Kennerly, who last year formed the event and consulting firm K2 Sports Ventures which acquired ownership of the former Eau Palm Beach Marathon & Run Fest from the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, is deep into plans to revive the traditional event December 1-3, 2017.
"The Palm Beaches Marathon has a lot of similarities to The Honda Classic when we took that event over in 2007," Kennerly said. "There is no reason why the Palm Beaches Marathon can't evolve as one of the country's top destination races.
"We have a beautiful city and course, great weather for the month of December in relation to many cities across the Country, and first-class hotels that help provide an upscale weekend experience. Now we will take the event and add additional elements to it very much in the way that we have with The Honda Classic where somebody can go have a great time regardless of how much interest they have in watching every shot of golf. When we are done, we hope we will have created a fantastic weekend for runners, those who support them and even residents of the area who might be inspired to walk or run or partake in the entertainment that will come alongside the event."
Kennerly has partnered with sports event veteran John Mathews of Sunshine State Races to produce the race. Mathews has 30 years of experience in sports marketing and has been staging distance races for more than a decade including the Amica Ironman 70.3 and United Healthcare Marathon in Rhode Island, the Turning Stone Races in New York and the Fort Myers Marathon each November on the Southwest coast of Florida.
Race founder Iva Grady, who presided over the event for its first nine years from 2004-2012, has returned as a Race Consultant to Kennerly and Mathews. Grady has been a runner for 46 years. She was running the New York Marathon in the mid-1990s when the idea crossed her mind of how wonderful it would be if she had a Marathon to run back home in Palm Beach County where the weather was nicer and the views so much prettier. The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches hired her in 2004 to start the race.
The goal is to continue to take advantage of the picturesque setting that the water views along Flagler Drive provide and innovate with fresh ideas that will enhance the quality of the race and spectator experience.
Kennerly is known locally and nationally for his monstrous success with The Honda Classic, but he also has more than 28 years experience in the sports marketing industry with successful tenures with ProServ, Inc., Advantage International, Inc, Golden Bear International, IGP Sports & Entertainment Group, and IMG. He has been instrumental in the production of numerous professional and amateur tournaments and has specialized in corporate strategic consulting, sporting hospitality programs, and the representation of several top ranked professional golf athletes and media personalities.
Kennerly, who has lived in Jupiter since 1993, also is an active member on multiple South Florida Boards including the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Discover The Palm Beaches, The First Tee of the Palm Beaches, South Florida PGA Section, Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation, and the American Junior Golf Association Foundation, as well as a former Board member of The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach.
For more information on the Palm Beaches Marathon, visit PalmBeachesMarathon.com. In-season registration is open through April 15 at $95 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half Marathon and $30 for the 5K. Prices increase $5 after April 15 through October 31, when they increase an additional $5 through race week.