I know many of you read my tale of woe about my race last weekend, but I wanted to give a review of the event itself and not just how bad of a time I had.
I went to the expo on Saturday afternoon and it was awesome. There were SO many different booths and neat things to look at.
The packet pick-up was a breeze and super organized. I was worried that with so many people in the race (30,000+) pick up would be a mess with long lines. I walked right up to my section (organized by bib number) and got my bib and then headed to the appropriate line for t-shirt size and got that.
We shopped around a little bit, but since I had the munchkin with me in the stroller, it was a little difficult maneuvering through the crowds, so we didn’t stay long. I did pick up some Sparkly Soul headbands and they are AMAZING! I even wore it during the race and it didn’t move at all. (Isn’t my model so cute?)
They had some cool things at the expo aside from the shopping. When you first walked it, they had a giant screen showing all the tweets with #INGMiami. It was pretty cool to see everyone’s tweets up there. They also had a giant “MIAMI” sign with the names of everyone running the race on it.
After fighting the crowd to find my name, I realized how funny it was that everyone was freaking out about the sign. It’s like we’ve never seen our name on a piece of paper before.
My dad and I were up early for race day. Luckily, he made me get up earlier than I would have on my own because the walk to the corral was intense. There were a lot of crowds to fight your way through and the lines for the bathrooms were in the middle of the corrals so that added more chaos to the mix. Of course, I was in one of the later corrals, so I’m sure if you are fast, you didn’t have to deal with that.
The race course itself was BEAUTIFUL! I wish I had taken pictures, but it was so crowded I was afraid of tripping someone. We ran over a couple or bridges, down by the water, next to the cruise ships waiting to depart, and through some really pretty neighborhoods. Definitely the best course I’ve ever run as far as scenery which was nice since I ended up having to walk so much.
There were tons of water and Gatorade stops. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a half-marathon course with so many aid stations! I thought there was going to be a GU station, but maybe they ran out before I got there because I never saw it. They had a station giving out oranges, but it was close to the end so I just held out. The downside of the oranges was that once everyone ate them and threw the peels on the ground, it was very slippery! I almost fell a couple of times. The other negative with the aid stations was just the amount of people trying to get to them. This was a very big race and it was hard to get to the water and keep going. You pretty much had to stop, find someone that had a cup and then walk slowly away so you didn’t trip anyone. Again, I was in the second half of the pack so it may have been a better situation if you were fast.
I did have to stop twice during the race, once for a fire truck and once for an ambulance. If I had been going for a time that would have irritated me a lot more. Obviously, I want people to get the aid they need, but I wish they would have routed a different way. Both emergency vehicles were going to help people running the race. I’ve never seen that before in a race. I’ve always seen emergency responders set up in the course so they don’t interrupt the race, but it was fine. Everyone stopped and let them go through and it was over with.
The finish line area had TONS of food and so many other tents set up. My mom and Mason enjoyed gathering all the free things. I didn’t hang out long because of my previously mentioned sickness. I did get to go in the VIP area and that was nice. It was right by the finish so you could see people as they crossed the finish line. It also had some food and its own bathrooms. (Should have headed over there right after the race instead of waiting. Haha!)
Overall the race was great! Personally, I didn’t like that it was so big, but that is just personal preference. It was hard for me to set my pace and not have to weave through people the entire race.
THANK YOU to Amanda for getting me the free entry to the ING Miami! It was great to meet some blogger buddies in real life!
My official time: 2:33:20
Overall place: 9565/14920
Gender place: 4077/7601
Age place: 288/548
I’ve talked about how disappointed I was in my performance. I had trained to be much faster and I was excited to have the chance to test out my training. Unfortunately, I have to just try again next time!