January 29, 2017
Miami (Half) Marathon! Good weather, nice beaches, beautiful views… not just referring to the surroundings 😉 What a perfect way to start off the season, or so I hoped.
The days leading to race day were great. I met a few folks from District Running Collective, a running group based in D.C. so it gave me the opportunity to enjoy the race weekend with others. We did dinner, a welcome happy hour, went out to a club in Wynwood Art District and even had a pre-race dinner, although I didn’t make it out for that. I was feeling pretty lazy the night before the race so I stayed in and made chicken parm.
Then race day came! I set my alarm to go off at 4am, and I woke up at that time. The snooze button wanted a bit more attention that day so I kept touching it, only to find myself waking up at 5:35 for a race that started at 6am. This definitely caused me to panic a bit, but thanks to pre-race routines, I had my things ready the night before so it was simple as throwing my them on and hitting the road. Getting to the race was no problem. In fact, it was a nice way to get warm as I had to run about a mile to the start line. The only reason I was pissed about coming late was because I missed the pre-race team photo and the opportunity to meet everyone before the race.
I got to the start line just at 6am! Luckily, I was in corral E and they were letting each corral go every five minutes. This gave me the opportunity to relax, stretch and get mentally prepared for the race.
I started at 6:25am and quickly found the 2-hour half marathon pacer. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of a real race day plan so I was running with no real expectations other than to finish the race. I stayed with (or slightly behind) the pacer for the entire race as I knew that I’d like to finish under two hours if nothing else! The course itself is a beautiful one and the support from spectators and fellow runners was great, especially considering how much the weather sucked! It was a complete 180 from what we had been experiencing the prior three days. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were nice chill typical Miami days. But, Sunday was cold, rainy and windy!
The race started at American Airlines Arena, and then over MacArthur Causeway which was the only incline through the race that I can remember. The Causeway lead us into South Beach and to the famous Ocean Drive. For those who don’t know, Ocean drive is where all the fancy bars, hotels/condos and some clubs are. Ocean Drive lead us to Washington Ave. This would have been one of my favorite parts about the race because I love to see the other runners on the opposite side of the street and cheer them on. On this day, I had no motivation to do that at all! From Washington Ave we headed back into Downtown Miami by crossing the Venetian Way. For folks that haven’t been on the Venetian Way when the weather is nice, it is truly a beautiful bridge and vantage point to see the river meeting the ocean. Actually, I was on the bridge for the first time the day prior when I purchased my new beautiful bike… I still don’t have a name for her but here she is:
Ok, back to the race… So the race brings us back to the opposite side of South Beach; on the outskirts of Downtown Miami. We ran through a residential (not much to see here) before running through Brickell. Brickell is another place I wish folks could see on a nice weather day. It’s Miami’s Downtown area that offers public transportation that would have allowed spectators to get out and support the runners.
While running this point, the sun had risen so I thought that more folks would have been out cheering people on if it were warmer, and not raining, or windy! Anyway, after going through Downtown Miami, we turned back onto Biscayne Blvd and ran towards American Airlines Arena where we were greeted by the spectators and some of the best volunteers!
Overall, this is definitely a race that I’d recommend for folks to do if they’re able. If you’re not familiar with the Miami area, this race will give you the opportunity to go on a winter racecation in an amazing city that offers countless things to do. I also want to give a big thanks to everyone from District Running Collective (@DistrictRunningCollective), especially Keisha (@Amiga2Amor), Leo (@Brushnev), Courtney (@Court_N_Session) and Xio (@Seeomara) for letting me latch on to their hip throughout the weekend as I knew no one else in DRC. Because of them, race weekend was definitely “pure silk”.