Let me start by saying I have ran this race/course for the past 7 years and every year it still feels as challenging. Some years I have sub two hour finishes, some years I’m a few minutes behind, some years I just want to finish alive. This was my first half marathon back in 2013 and even though those bridges are challenging, I continue to sign up year after year.
Last year the race was more Miami than usual with a pots and pans PR station because everyone in Miami goes out in the streets with their pots and pans for the home team victories. This year was much like last years with the 305 feel with cafecito by the starting line and lots of great food vendors afterwards. There was a major hiccup that happened a few days before the race, the race medals were on a train for California and not Florida so the race management hustled and put together a temp medal till we can get the official 0 medal to complete our 3 year challenge. Also due to the UPS mistake they gave out $5 Starbucks gift cards as well as a code for free UPS my choice premium membership for a year. I look forward to getting my 0 medal in the mail in the next couple weeks.
Now back to the changes and things that were really helpful. Usually the port a potties are lined up at the end of the starting corral but this time they were actually put into the hard packed sand across from where the finish line was and there were huge lights to illuminate them. That is perfect, well almost lol, some sand got into my sock which was kind of annoying BUT I did like the fact that it was out of the starting corral area which really clogs up the area for runners.
The iRun pacers were great as usual, I tucked in behind the 2:00 finish time pacers and managed to stick with them for 8 miles, the pace was a little faster than I expected. But after the brief rain shower at mile 7 the humidity was getting very thick. The sun burning the rain off the pavement was just a bit much for me when I had to trek up one of the final bridges back to Miami Beach, the MacArthur and so I decided to take a little walk break up it or risk fainting from the humidity. After that the flat running was working well for me and I stopped slacking a little. I got to see my favorite running buddy, Harolyn at the mile 10.5 water stop, she ran over to cheer on her friends and ended up helping out at the water stop.
I got caught by a few photographers this year which doesn’t always happen when I am running with a pace group. One caught me when I was ascending the 2nd bridge of the course, caught the grit on my face haha. I really do not like hills/bridges because I am used to training in my very flat Miami neighborhood and don’t get to make it out to Key Biscayne for tackling the large bridge anymore with a toddler. Training is a lot different now than it used to be.
I hope that next year I will be getting a course PR during this race, that is the plan at least! Possibly a new half PR that is if I can get in some bridge training this year.
Onward to the finish line, where cold water, cold towels and temporary medals were handed out. After that you head into the post race party zone after getting some fruit/protein bars from the athlete food tent. At the back of the food tent was a chicken and rice food area, but I did not stop and try out that. I actually did not want to smell any food after finishing the rest. In that tent I prepared my Nuun so that I could hydrate back to human. Tucked a banana securely into the pocket of my Oiselle pocket jogger shorts and my water bottle in the other pocket. That is where we picked up our Starbucks card and letter from UPS about the medal mishap. I went immediately to the Florida Storm Series tent and picked up my category 4 medal, that didn’t take long at all and then walked around to see the different vendors. I ran into my Oiselle teammate Daniela’s parents who ran the 5k/half marathon at the Air Relax booth. I walked around and got some shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck and then went to the Yasso truck and had a greek froyo bar in my favorite Yasso bar flavor, chocolate chip cookie dough. After saying hi to a few more friends in the finisher area I walked back to my car and headed up. Everywhere in Miami seems to be under construction lately and Miami Beach was no different but luckily the traffic was not too terrible when I left at 9am.
I will be signing up for the 2020 race to complete my 3 year challenge, but I know that I will continue signing up for this race as long as I am able to run it. Claimed my results on athlinks right after the race and then by that evening the FREE race photos were available on the app! Sign up now for the best rates for next year’s 305 Half Marathon!