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#12 – Miami Marathon

Marathon Man - Miami Marathon

27 January 2013 – 5 hrs 43 mins

After a long day in Yuma followed by travel to Phoenix, the flights across to Miami were restless. I was stuck by the window with two people beside me on the flight to Charlotte and had to excuse myself a few times to visit the bathroom after drinking on the drive between Yuma and Phoenix. The flight had been delayed, and there was a very tight window to catch the flight from Charlotte to Miami, so I was able to squeeze past a few people to make my way to the connecting flight.

Having not eaten any food since the marathon and not changed clothes I was feeling exhausted, hungry and dirty right about now. I fortunately found a Quiznos which is similar to Subway and picked up a quick take-out sandwich before racing to the gate and presenting my boarding pass only to be told that there had been a gate change. I then made my way to the new gate where there was time to quickly charge my phone and finally eat some food.

Marathon Man - Miami Marathon

Seeing double at Miami Marathon

The opportunity to sit in the exit row soon presented itself prior to take off and I was initially very excited with two free seats besides me. This was soon to vanish with a teenager able to relocate and sit beside me, and then a screaming 2 year old directly in front of me providing little chance for rest during the flight.

Glass half full approach – I was really pleased to be in Miami a little after 12.30am and decided to spend the time organising myself prior to making my way into downtown Miami for the 6am race start. I charged the ipod, Garmin and iPhone and prepared clothes for the event. It was close to 3am when I rented a car and then changed from one set of Marathon Man clothes into the new version for the Miami Marathon.

It was all a little fuzzy now as I made my way into downtown Miami to meet up with marathon friends at the Hyatt Hotel where Chuck, Martha and Michael were holding my bib for me. I managed to find the hotel with few dramas although did bypass the Toll Collectors and found myself on camera driving through the Toll Pass area after 3am. Arriving at the Hyatt Hotel it was great to find the guys all mostly still in bed with the Australian Open Tennis Final on live from Melbourne with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Marathon Man - Miami Marathon

Marathon Man – Miami Marathon

It was hard to remember being so exhausted prior to a marathon, but we soon found our way to the start line where the atmosphere was building and the diversity of nationalities was apparent with a large proportion of runners from Latin America. The National Anthem was played and the crowds were huge with the Half Marathon and Marathon leaving at the same time. The weather was a little overcast although nice and warm compared to previous weeks.

The number of people and the scenery made the journey a little more bearable considering I was operating on no sleep, although it was soon clear that all my senses were amplified with every word seemingly so loud it was incredible. My taste buds were really playing tricks, my eyes were particularly sensitive and the race supplements simply did not taste the same.

There were a number of charities represented on the day and this was great to see. There were other characters on the course with the majority of these extremely vocal on the day. It was great to share the opening stages of the marathon with Chuck Struckness, and around 10km of the first half of the race with Maria from Moscow who was in town with her boyfriend and running her very first Half Marathon event.

Marathon Man - Miami Marathon

Miami Waterfront

The scenery was great in parts with the iconic Miami skyline and water backdrop absolutely beautiful. The back half of the course took in lots of residential areas around Miami and it was really a matter of simply holding on to be able to bring it home to cross the finish line. There were moments where it felt like the course would never end and I really had to call on marathon memory to keep placing one foot in front of the other.

It was such a relief to complete the month in Miami in a time of 5:33:43. Talk about a hard night and day in the office … All the same I was proud of the efforts and urgently in need of some rest time before the adventures continue in February.

2013 Statistics:

Marathons Run – 12
Total Distance Run – 506.3 km / 314.4 miles
US States Completed – AZ, CA, FL, NV, TX
Total Drive Distance – 1,096 km / 681 miles
Total Flight Distance – 7,040 km / 4,375 miles

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