GFNY Florida Sebring Course Guide

GFNY Florida Sebring

Welcome to Florida – the Sunshine State! The second edition of GFNY Florida Sebring as well as the inaugural GFNY Florida Marathon, will both take place in the city of Sebring. Located in the Florida heartland, in the center of the state, and Northwest of Lake Okeechobee, the largest cities in Highlands county, Avon Park and Sebring, await the chance to host you for a GFNY cycling race that moves so fast, it is rivaled only by the LeMans cars racing at the Sebring International Speedway just down the road. 

During race week, Downtown Sebring is the place to be for all GFNY activities such as the expo and pre race group rides. The race start line for 2021 will be in the historic Downtown area at the Highlands County Family YMCA. This is a completely new course created by the GFNY team for the second edition of GFNY Florida Sebring. The long competitive course clocks in at 89.5 miles (144-kilometers), and an elevation of 715 feet (218 meters). The medium, the non-competitive course has a total distance of 54.3 miles (87.5-kilometers) and an elevation of 434 feet (132 meters). 

So let’s get into the long course description and get the inside scoop on how to tackle GFNY Florida Sebring on race day and what to expect from the new course.

The Start

GFNY Florida Sebring will start at the Highlands County Family YMCA, what’s 4.3miles (7-kilometers) from Downtown Sebring. Riders will need to make sure to leave their hotels early enough to get into the start corral on time. With limited parking in the area, it will be best for riders to make their way to the course by bike. 

From the start, riders will head west on Hammock Road for approximately 2 miles (3.3-kilometers). Hammock Road will be closed to cars and is a wide road that will encourage a very fast start, but it should be easy to grab a wheel and stay with the pack here. From Hammock Road the riders will turn left on County Road for a long stretch of about 4 miles (6.5-kilometers). County road will also be closed-to-cars, and that will make GFNY Florida Sebring a race where riders can work to break their speed records and move up in the standings for the overall classification. Once riders reach the end of County Road the race will turn right on to Florida Route 66, another wide open road, that will give riders the chance to generate very high speeds for the next 4.5 miles (7.2-kilometers), bringing the riders to a 35 mile (56.5-kilometer) loop. 


A Scenic Double-Loop through Central Florida’s Tranquil Natural Surroundings

The fast 10.5 miles (17.5-kilometer) start will now send the riders to the right, leaving Florida Route 66, and starting the first pass of the double-loop that makes up a large portion of the course. This is a crucial corner for riders that would like to stay on the front. Pernell Road at the beginning of the loop is more narrow than the roads that opened the race. Being on the front as the course makes the right turn onto the loop will keep riders from wasting energy chasing back onto the front of the race or onto the group they have been riding with.  The Pernill Road section of the loop will go for 6 miles (9.7-kilometers) and the riders will follow Pernill Road to the northern section of the loop. Pernill road will then make a slight bend to the right before turning to the left onto Steve Roberts Special, this is a point that riders should keep in mind (16.6mi and 51.7mi into the race) as they are making their way on Pernill Road and be ready for the bend and subsequent turn. 

Once the riders have turned on to Steve Roberts Special, they will follow it for 9 miles (14.4-kilometers) before turning left onto Merle Langford Road where the more technical part of the race starts. Following for 2 miles (3.2-kilometers) on Merle Langford Road the riders will turn left onto Sasser Road where a fast 0.4 miles (0.7-kilometers) will give way to a right turn, and another right turn after 1 mile (1.6-kilometers), and finally the fourth corner after 0.5 miles (0.8-kilometers). The last left turn will bring the riders to Dallas McClellan Road, and they will follow Dallas McClellan for 3 miles (4.8-kilometers), before taking a long right bend immediately followed by a 90 degree left corner. A last 0.5 mile (0.6-kilometer) straight section will deliver the peloton to the Southern section of the loop. Bike handling skills will be critical through these turns to stay with the pack. 

At the end of Dallas McClellan Road, riders will turn left onto Sweetwater Road. This is another long straight section of the course, stretching to 3.2 miles (5.2-kilometers) but starting with 3 slight bends (right-left-right) to take the riders to the intersection with Crewsville Road where the riders will then turn right, followed by a left and right 90° corner into the next mile. (1.6-kilometers).

With a long stretch of 8.3mi (13.4km) and a few slight bends, riders will reach the point where the medium course riders will turn right and long course riders will go straight ahead for a second loop.


Heading back to Sebring to Finish your GFNY

After completing the second loop, riders will head back to Sebring following the same roads that they rode into the loop. Turning right from Crewsville Road onto Florida Route 66 they will follow Florida Route 66 for 4.5 miles (7.2-kilometers). Riders should stay focused and be mindful that the finish will not be in front of the Highlands County Family YMCA where the start was. After the 4.5 miles (7.2-kilometers) on Florida Route 66, the riders will turn left and follow County Road for 3.7 miles (6-kilometers) where they will turn right onto Wood Avenue for the last 0.3 miles (0.5-kilometers) of this GFNY Florida experience.

Riders will receive their medal & finisher photo there, and there will be a small recovery station with water, soda, ice, and snacks to refuel them. From there, they will ride on the separated bike path aside Hammock Road for 1.7 miles back to the Highlands County YMCA, where festivities, post-race meal, and awards ceremony will be waiting.