Race Report: Miami Half Marathon
Disclosure: I was invited to run the Miami Half Marathon in exchange for this post. All opinions here are my own.
Back in January 2015, I ran the Miami Marathon. This was my first marathon, just seven months shy of my first half marathon. The process was grueling but memorable, mostly because I was self coached and didn’t really know what I was doing. But the race support and energy was something I’ll never forget.
Flash forward five years later to February 9, 2020. I’m standing at the starting line for the Miami Half Marathon. The crowd energy is still there, but this time, I’m more trained and more prepared.
To help prepare all you runners out there, I decided to write a race review. Here are some things to keep in mind for this particular race.
Expo at Mana Wynwood
The expo can be described in one word: Miami. It took an extra half hour to get there, totaling one and a half hours, due to construction and an accident. Upon arrival to Wynwood, I had to take alternative backstreets due to cops blocking off the main entranceway. I parked in the grassy lot after sitting in snail paced traffic to then stand in a winding line to pay for parking.
“Excuse me?” I said to the meter maid. “How much is parking?” The man in front who was paying turned to me. “Excuse me, but we’ve been waiting in line for a while. You need to wait.”
I got “Miami” on him and popped off. “I’m just asking about paying for parking, calm down,” I said. His eyes widened a bit, he chuckled, paid and then left. I stepped up and said to the meter maid, “Coño [pronounced more like ‘ño], you have the patience of a saint!” She laughed, and I paid.
If you must know, it was $10 for the first hour and $5 for 2–3 hours, totaling $15 to park. 20–30 minutes later, I finally walked into the expo and snagged my race packet and bib. Although this part of the process was painless, navigating to buy gels and other essentials was quite the mission with the large crowd present.
The expo overall was chaotic, claustrophobic, and headache inducing. So, like I said: Miami.
Even more Miami was the low budget music video happening in the parking lot next door. There was a Jeep, six scantily clad dancing girls, and a song with the word “Twerk” every five seconds. Worth the hour and half drive? Perhaps.
Due to the early morning commute at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m., there was no race traffic. We didn’t run into any issues parking because we parked at a friend’s house and walked to the corrals. Per usual, the lines to the porta potties were insanely long, but that’s expected on race day. It was a bit crowded getting into the corrals, but nothing detrimental to the race start.
The race start for the half marathon is near the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play.
Although the overall course of the half marathon is flat, it should be noted that there are a few bridges that do have a bit of an incline. My suggestion is to conserve a bit of energy in the beginning as running those bridges will catch up later in the race. I was unintentionally running at a seven minute pace on the declines.
As far as the rest of the course goes, there are plenty of digital clocks displaying race times and the mile markers were clear and easy to read. The halfway split from the marathon and half marathon was very simple to follow.
On-course support was plenty and energetic. There was an exorbitant amount of water stations and the volunteers were beyond encouraging. Music blaring from some of the speakers onsite added some extra motivation.
Overall, the course was fun although a bit challenging to PR at, due to the bridges. I came within 26 seconds of gaining a personal best (My PB is 1:55:03), but accidentally gunned it in miles three and five. Had I conserved my energy earlier on, I most likely would have PRed but nonetheless, I was content with my time (1:55:28). The course was wide enough to easily navigate around irritating runners who decided to take selfies and video their run.
I will mention this: my Garmin clocked the race at 13.41 miles. Again, this is just my device, but something I thought I would mention.
Click here for more course information.
The finish of the half marathon was by Biscane Boulevard, south of Bayside. Leaving was a bit backlogged due to the amount of runners shuffling out towards the post race party, but it was otherwise very efficient. Runners were able to enjoy plenty of food choices for free, such as a turkey sandwich, quinoa, veggie pasta and fruit. For those that wanted to forgo food options and leave quickly, there was a separate exit. There was also a post race party with music and food for purchase.
The Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon is a fun race with plenty of support and scenic views. I highly recommend doing the half or full. Visit here to sign up.
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