|Photo credit of Matthew Paulson on Flickr|
This was by far one of my favorite races I have ever participated in. The expo was huge with lots of companies present, however, the expo is on the south beach instead of by the start, which means limited parking.
However probably one of the coolest expo’s I have been to. And the shirts were bright and made of a great material.
The race is put on by U.S. Road Sports and Entertainment, and takes you from downtown Miami across the highway to South Beach, down ocean drive, through the lovely neighborhoods of North Miami Beach, back across the Venetian causeway to finish through downtown Miami once again. If you continue on to run the full it takes you down to coconut grove, across the Rickenbacker causeway and ends in Bayfront park where the race started.
The race starts at 6:15 in the morning before the sun comes up and this year there was 25,000 people converging on downtown Brickell. Even though the race takes place in January, it was still rather humid at the start. Thankfully it stayed cloudy and the air temperatures cooled down by the time I finished the half. The beginning of the race was incredible. So many people all excited to cross the causeway and begin the first part of their race. MarathonFoto is there in the early morning taking pictures throughout the race, not just in the end. They also videotape the race and it is broadcast in February on TV stations in Florida. When you are running down the final stretch they broadcast everyone on a big screen so you can see yourself crossing the finish line. There are specific areas for cheering, but you will see some people along the course watching and cheering you on, however, that’s not until after you get to South Beach.
The course had lots of water stops which was great and incredible views of the causeway with the cruise ships all lit up. Everyone on the ocean either just leaving the clubs or just getting to work outside watching you run by. The course couldn’t have been more gorgeous.
Perks: Fantastic course. Beautiful views running along the causeways, ocean, in downtown Miami and south beach. It couldn’t have been more picturesque. The incredible medal, U.S. Road Sports is famous for their medals and this one was no exception. It celebrated the ING Miami Marathon’s 10th anniversary. The expo was huge with lots of local stores as well as major brands were present. The race started promptly at 6:15 and had plenty of aid stations. The post race food was okay and gear check was easy and well as very organized. They also open up the American airlines arena bathrooms so you aren’t forced to use port o potties.
Ehh… Not a Fan: Wasn’t crazy about 82go because you had to rip it open to drink out of it, but it did come in handy if you didn’t have a water belt and wanted some water for later on before the next aid stop. I would have rather had the expo closer to the start of the race instead of out on Miami beach because getting there was a pain in the butt and parking was a nightmare, which by the way you had to pay to park.
Final Grade: A
If you get the opportunity I highly suggest traveling to Miami and running in the ING Marathon. It was a beautiful scenic race, great medal and, all in all, a great time.