Monday, March 8, 2010

Beach party!

I have to admit, the 131 Miami half marathon does have its appeal.

The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect - mid-50's temperatures, light breeze, clear skies - beautiful! I was a little unsure of the parking situation, so arrived near the South Beach start area around 4:40 am to find plenty of spaces available at one of the recommended parking garages. The late night partiers were weaving their way back to the same garage to drive home and crash for the morning. A couple of short-skirted, but pleasant, girls asked me about the event, and marveled at the distance (13 miles!!!?). It's a juxtaposition that never ceases to amuse me: bleary-eyed, scantily-clad party-goers crossing paths with bleary-eyed, scantily-clad runners in the pre-dawn hours.

The race had a nice-size field of around 2000 runners. The race took us up Miami beach and over a causeway and back in a loop to the start. The organizers really did try to have entertainment on the course. One of the nice things about running along the causeway is that you could hear the entertainment (drum line, DJ or band) from both sides. There wasn't a lot of crowd support, but the onlookers that were there were vocal and enthusiastic. All of the runners were very friendly, and everyone really seemed to be having a great time. There are several fairly stiff bridges on the course, but the view from the highest bridge was spectacular - you could see miles of bay and the Port, and skylines of both Miami and Miami Beach. And did I say that the weather was perfect?

I really didn't care about my time, I was just running for fun! Is it just me, or does 13 miles just not seem as far as it used to? The miles passed quickly. The last mile was on a winding bike path by the beach and almost before I knew it, the race was over. I finished in 2:05, a VERY respectable time for me considering all of the bridges, and totally blowing away last year's time of 2:16!

The best part of the race, IMO, is the finish line party right on the beach. There were the usual post-race bagels, fruit, cookies, muffins, etc. But there was also a beer tent - Sam Adams, some GOOD stuff! And arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), and all sorts of vendor samples, salsa music and beach cabanas. I have never seen a race with beach cabanas and lounge chairs at the finish. It was very cool! Unfortunately, duty called and I had to scoot off to make it to church on time. But for those who had time to hang around, it was shaping up to be quite a party!

So, will I do it next year? Maybe .... I have a lot planned already and it will depend on how I feel. Just two suggestions for the organizers - a Broward County packet pick up option and negotiated parking rates! I paid $18 for less than 4 hours in a City parking garage, ouch!

But, it was fun .....


  1. fyi next year, metered parking is free till 9.

  2. This was a great run! It was my first half-marathon and my girlfriend and I have been training for months! I can't wait for the next season of runs to begin. I am pumped. After I crossed the finish line, it occured to me that even though I was completely drained, I felt great. I am going to take a few days of R&R before I hit the pavement again. After the run, I got down on one knee and asked my girlfriend to be my wife. She said yes! :-)

    Scott S.

  3. I am from Broward and I agree with the packet pick up situation, I drove for 2hr 15 minutes down and back to pick up. This needs to be fixed or many Broward residents may choose not to participate.

    Parking, no problem, I got there early, parked on the beach side, 3 spaces from the START line, no metering until 9:00 a.m....I parked for FREE couldn't have been better.