My race was dedicated to Maureen Bown. She is a true warrior battling Cancer. I was also running in honor of a Teammate in Colombia I never met that passed away Wednesday from Colombia. That’s the black ribbon on the front of my shirt. Prayers to his family and all touched by his loss.

I forgot I had napkins on my leg

Miami Marathon is truly an international marathon. There are lots of people from different countries that come to participate in this race.  There are people from all over heading to Miami to run. It is usually held the first weekend of February, but it was switched this year for the Super Bowl.  The Life Time Miami Marathon & Half Marathon takes you through the streets of Miami starting in the downtown area, to the scenic beaches: South Beach”, through the art district and back around to the bay area. You see cruise ships yachts, and some of the night life as you start in the dark for this run.  The day before the half and marathon is the 5k.  There are race day shuttles from the Miami Convention center for $20. The expo is nice it is a small to medium in size.  I was with the Achilles South Florida and Freedom Team members this weekend. There were Achilles members from Colombia, Nicaragua, and multiple US states.

Heading to Miami

I did a turn and burn this weekend as I was planning to run the half. A turn and burn is a term used when you fly in race and fly out.

Although there was a Black Girls Run National Meetup and Black Greek Run annual meetup, I didn’t get to enjoy their events as I had to stay with the team. We stayed at the Hyatt House Miami. I stayed there last year with the team and loved it.  It has an airport shuttle to and from the Miami International Airport.

 It was cheaper for me to fly into the Fort Lauderdale and drive 42 minutes (without tolls) 35 minutes with tolls to where we were staying.  I arrived and checked into my room. This was a nice sweet, there are two rooms separated by the living room which had a pull-out sofa.  I love the fact that each room had its own bathroom.  it was a 25-minute drive to the race.  

My awesome guide Joan

I fellowshipped with the team members for lunch and again at dinner then headed off to sleep. 

The Race

We had to meet in the lobby at pm for 3:45 take off. Most of the team uses handcycles and a few used push rims.  There are even fewer ambulatory runners this year I ran. I was blessed to have Joan.  While she is nearly 20 years older than me, she is a hardcore individual. She kept me focused and on task for the race even through the pain and discomfort. 

There were many corrals I was to start in the J corral that was pretty far back especially since they start with A.  I was blessed at the last minute to start in A with a handful of other runners. I was worried about not having support on the course since the half is 4 hours, but the marathon was 7.  The best part of the race was that Amy from the Fifty State Half Marathon club came and found me. That was an arduous task with over 20,000 people there, of course had to have a selfie. 

After the anthem placed the race began, the cool breeze and the night air made it phenomenal, then you go up the bridge.  My goodness, I definitely had no intentions of running it. As always, I moved as close to the right as possible and people still try to squeeze between me and my guide and me and the wall.  

Cool bird art

Once the sun came up, I felt the goose bumps coming so I ran into Starbucks for a cup of ice. I couldn’t find any other ice on the course but the cups of cool water helped a great deal. I cheered on other runs I gave shouts out to every BGR I saw two ladies one from Ohio and the other I can’t remember spoke to me on the course. One asked how to be a guide the other took a selfie with me.  Both said I was pretty inspiring and to keep pushing and that is what I did. The wind was brutal. Just know I needed the breeze. Last year the race had over cast. Love love loved that. It also did the Florida sprinkle rain last year. I had hoped for that this year….. Not!

During my hardest moment I saw 2 ladies pushing this person. A guy said to them good job you are almost there one lady said jokingly we are doing the marathon. I laughed and commended them too. They in turn commended me. They asked if I wanted to try. I said sure. I had no idea my guide too pics of me until after the race.

As I closed in on the last mile, I was so excited. It took me 25 minutes to complete the last mile a new record of slow for me. Ray from BGRN read the back of one of my signs ” Team Fluffy Strong”  out load and I turned and recognized him. I was so happy to see him. I had to stop him for a photo.

He blew on by after than as I came in to the finish I was greeted by Jacqui as if I was the winner of the marathon.  I can’t say enough about the Achilles athletes and volunteers. I am truly happy that I have this addition to my life they are my support, my micro community. It took me 3 hours and 27 minutes and 00 secs to complete this half, I have never been so happy to sit down in all my life.  I have never had my calf muscles tight up on me and my right hamstring and glute yell at me during a race. I didn’t want to talk back to them, but I had to do what I could to keep moving forward. I ran then walked, ran then walked and walked. My goal is 50 states and DC and I do not want to handcycle any of those. I handcycled last year and vowed to come back and run it and that is what I did. Of course, I ran Florida in January at Walt Disney World, but who is counting? Now I need to handcycle the marathon after my states are done. If you have an opportunity to do this race do it.  If you like large races. I prefer smaller races, but I like going where my friends and team members are.

Please note this is Florida flat 210 feet of elevation. There are over passes, but they are small compared the the first bridge.

We did it
Jacqui K and me
My Soror who is on the 50 state journey

Lastly race pictures are free!

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