Monday, February 1, 2010

Just another day at the beach!

Ah, South Florida in January. Gotta love it!

My Sunday started rather early (2:30 am!) - I met my friends at 3:50 am to carpool down to the race start. We made it downtown in ample time, early enough to see late-night partiers stagger back to their cars as we pulled into the dim parking garage. We had plenty of time to make necessary potty stops and chat before dispersing to our designated corrals for the race start.

This year's Miami marathon was the biggest ever, with over 18000 registered participants. The weather was rather hot and sticky at the 6:15 am start, but a cold front blew in during the race bringing cooler breezes and a sprinkle or two. It meant that it wasn't a typically-sunny winter day, but the cooler temperatures were much appreciated.

We started in the dark, but the sky began to brighten in the east as we ran over the McArthur causeway toward Miami Beach. As always, the brightly-lit cruise ships fascinated me as we ran by the Port. All of those people onboard, sleepily packing up to disembark, likely not even noticing the thousands of runners streaming by. It was daylight by the time we hit South Beach, certainly light enough to see the two, ah, gentlemen on the sidelines cheering us on while dressed in ladies lingerie. I probably wouldn't have minded, but I think one of them looked better in a bikini than I do.

In such a large race, I was always surrounded by crowds of runners. There was always something to see - entertainment, onlookers, support crew, the scenery, or just other runners. I passed several Multiple-Sclerosis team runners pushing wheelchairs carrying MS patients. Both runners and riders had big smiles on their faces as we cheered them on with "great job"! It made me humbly grateful once again for the blessings of robust good health and the ability to move under my own power.

Almost before I realized, we were on the Venetian causeway and heading back toward downtown Miami. An enormous cheering section was assembled just as we re-entered downtown, which always gives me a surge of adrenaline and a little more kick to my stride. A couple of miles farther and the full marathoners split off, we rounded the bend and crossed the finish line. I posted a 2:09, not a great time for me, but the best I've managed at this particular event.

I shuffled through the crowded finisher chute, accepted my medal graciously, and picked up a few food items, then headed over the Motorola tent to say hello. A few finishers were there, and after chatting a few minutes, I headed back to the car to change and re-group. Not too long after, we were our way out to IHOP for some serious refueling.

Ahh, nothing better than a long run followed by pancakes! Life is good.
(thanks to Bobo for the photo!)

No comments:

Post a Comment