Since the race was only 40 miles south of me I didn’t get a hotel. DH drove me down on Saturday to pick up my race packet, South Beach was pretty crowded but he dropped me at the curb and drove around while I was able to get in and out pretty quickly. They must have assigned numbers based on when you registered as I got #59...and we all know I’m not Mrs. Speedy LOL. Bright orange goody bag, samples included sample packs of KT tape, Fiber Gummies and cinnamon brown sugar almonds...and some Halloween candy of course. Made a last minute run to pick up more Gu gels, then in bed by 8pm.
Race day woke up at 3:30am and left the house by 5am...only to turn around right away as I forgot my iPod *duh*. Only took about 45 minutes to get there, then walked about a half mile to the shuttle (so I could park at the finish line...and I was about 500 feet from it so VERY worth it!). Arrived at the start line at Jungle Island (where Parrot Jungle is), then went in search of the restrooms-long line for the girls but it moved pretty fast. During my search and wait in line the rain came pouring down...thankfully it stopped after about 10 minutes, although that made for a very muggy start since it was 76 degrees out. We started on time (7am) and about 5 minutes in it started to sprinkle again but it didn’t last too long. We were dodging puddles for a while and after walking for about 20 minutes to start I began doing 4/1 walk/run intervals. I would have done 3/1 but I had no way to change the track on my iPod shuffle as my headphones broke and I was using DH’s which don’t have controls on the cord...so my shuffle was stuck on my 3/2 mix from my last training run-I just watched my Garmin to see when I hit 1 minute then started my walk portion. First part started along MacArthur Causeway right next to the Port of Miami so we were going past all of the cruise ships...tried to take pictures but they didn’t come out. Passed Star Island (no stars in sight) and the ferry to Fisher Island before going over our one bridge and then onto Miami Beach. It was really nice walking along the Miami Beach Marina and then through South Pointe Park
Once out of the park we were right next to the beach on an out and back all the way up to 47th Street where the boardwalk ended (South Pointe Park is below 1st Street). We started along the Esplanade, through Lummus park and the Serpentine Walkway, then onto the wooden boardwalk at around mile 6.5. Note to self-a wet, wooden boardwalk does not make for solid footing...my feet kept slipping on the wet wood. Once we were on the boardwalk, I went to just walking. At least once we hit the turnaround at the end of the boardwalk and started coming back most of the wood had dried. By the time we hit mile 10 I was feeling drained. I was taking water at every stop after 6 miles (plus each time I had a Gu and one or two early stops) in addition to my G2 in my fuel belt-which I was wearing since I train with G2 and they had some sports drink called “Title” I had never tried before. At about 12.5 miles after re-entering South Pointe Park, we climbed a hill (a little taller than climbing up to a 2nd story), then down again and around toward the finish line. Miles 1-8 I was doing 16 and change minute miles...9-12 were 17 and change; mile 13 was 18 and change, by that point I was just so glad to see the finish line! I have always run across every finish line and did the same here, giving me a 14 and change minute mile pace for my last 0.1 mile. I was just so happy to be done!
My official finish time was 3:40:12, my slowest half marathon. I finished last in my age group and 1081/1092 finishers...slow but not last! The temperature at the end was 79 degrees with 72% humidity, but being as we were along the beach the whole time it was more moisture than where Weatherbug was reading (at the police station). My Garmin 305 was amazingly accurate, reading 13.10 miles and 3:40:13.
Lots of fun costumes along the way...plenty of superheroes and people sporting wings and headbands with ears and such. The most interesting costume I saw was a couple...she had a hospital gown with a pregnant belly underneath (lordy, I hope it didn’t weigh as much as a pregnant belly!); coming out from under the gown was a cord-painted red-which was attached the the man running with her. He was in a nude-colored body stocking with red paint splashed on the area where the cord connected-his belly button...so mom running with attached baby. All in all a good race, FABULOUS bling (a coffin that opens revealing the vamp inside and Finisher-R.I.P. on a black lanyard splashed with red blood) and a nifty Brooks technical shirt with vampire fangs dripping blood.
A last funny thought-I forgot to turn the power off to my Garmin after stopping it at the finish line and happened to look down at it while I was driving home on I-95. It said I was running at a 0:50 pace...which cracked me up. Yeah, I’m fast all right LOL.