What a fantastic day for a race! Sunny with some scattered clouds and a real nice breeze. 52 degrees at the start, 60 at the finish. Gotta love South Florida in the winter!
Got up at 2:30am to have breakfast and get ready. Didn’t wind up leaving the house until just after 4am for my hour drive down to Miami Beach. The race started and ended in South Beach; when I arrived down there just after 5am, there were people still out from the night before (a few in some rather provocative partying clothes). Ah, South Beach LOL. Got parked and made my way over the the starting area. Walked around for over a half an hour trying to stay warm before making my way over to the corrals. This was set up like A1A was with poles marking the different pace times. We started on time and I headed out at a slow jog for the first block before starting my walk/run intervals. I was again doing my 3 minute walk/2 minute run intervals, adjusting to the water stops and bridges as needed.
The first 3 miles wound through the streets of Miami Beach and brought us over the I-195, AKA the Julia Tuttle Causeway. I did make one port-a-potty stop about 2.5 miles in (didn’t want to take a chance and there were no lines, only wasted about 40 seconds). We did the JTC over and back (about 6 miles total) which included 2 bridges, the 2nd (western) one steeper than the other. The bridges wound up being not too bad, I was still able to keep up a 16 min/mile pace going up...and of course ran down both of them! So actually four bridges with the out and back. We could see the cruise ships docked at the Port of Miami from the JTC...too bad that wasn’t the reward for finishing!
I kept a pretty steady pace for the first 10 miles between 14:30-14:51 min/mile. The last 5K though, I was getting tired (hey, I did just do another half marathon 2 weeks ago) and slowed to between 15:03-15:34 min/mile. The last mile or so was along a boardwalk-type area (but not wooden, was a brick-type walkway) and there were a lot of people just walking along it that weren’t part of the race...they didn’t get in the way though, plenty of room for all of us.
When I hit the 13 mile mark I picked up my pace again and ran the last bit to the finish line. My chip time wound up being 3:16:51, a new PR for me (3 half marathons, 3 PRs). Considering I made the one potty stop I’m very happy with my time on a course with 4 bridges to do. At the finish they were giving free salsa lessons and there was Latin music (all along the course too as well as many drum lines), free arroz con pollo, cafe con leche and free Samuel Adams beer (again no thanks but that booth sure was popular). They were also giving out free bags of “Corn Thins” at the end, they are like rice cake but made out of popcorn instead...got two of those (Flax & Soy and Lemon & Cracked Pepper)...really yummy and actually good for you.
I had a great time and would definitely do this race again, although next year I’m going to try to make Disney’s Princess Half first!