Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Fitbit Tropical 5K Race. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
Last year after reading all the #miamifamous for Miami marathon and half hashtags on Twitter, I was determined to not miss the half marathon in 2018. In my pursuit of being #miamifamous I decided to go all in and run the Tropical 5k and half marathon to get the full experience. This is my second year starting my racing season in my home state of Florida. So how was my experience?
The expo was an interesting location. Initially, my friends and I thought were in the wrong place because the neighborhood seemed a bit sketchy. Once we figured out we were good, all was good. The expo was held in a large venue and they provided free luggage check in, which was nice since I went to the expo directly from the airport.
The expo had many vendors offering discounted race entries, gear, and food samples. Bib pickup was in a room in the back of the venue. Pick up was quick and easy for both races (5k and half). Outside of entry to the room where the bibs were picked up were props for photo opps, including a Miami Marathon word wall prop. I found my name on the first M. While I didn't buy anything at the exp, I had a great time checking out all the vendors.
5K Race Day
The 5k started near the Children's Museum on Saturday (1/27/18). The route was mostly flat, with only a hill on a bridge at mile 2. It was beautiful and scenic. I was glad it was windy because the humidity was awake early in the morning. There was one water stop, which was perfect for a 5k. The run was warm without the sun. Thankfully I am used to running in the heat and humidity. After the race, we walked to the afterparty for snacks and to hang out at the beach.
My only criticisms about the 5k race is that the lines were so long for food. I wish they could find a better and faster way to distribute items. Maybe have grab bags were people could just grab and go. I also wish they would ban selfie sticks. Many runners had selfie sticks during the 5k and it is not safe to them or other runners. Overall I enjoyed the race and the medal was nice.
Half marathon race day
The half marathon started near the Miami Heat Arena at 6 am on Sunday. The course had more hills and bridges than the 5k. I enjoyed the difference in terrain since I am not used to running on flatness for long periods of time. The water stations were about every other mile. Just like the 5k, the wind helped to balance out the heat due to the humidity (mostly) and the sun. I took a spill at mile 9, but I got up and kept running (it was a Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" moment). The medal was sweet and had a spinner in the middle. I finished in 2:48. This was first attempt of my goal of running a sub 2 half marathon in 2018. I still have work to do.
After the race we were given a meal (yay!). I had a sandwich, apple, and cookie. This the second race that I had a meal after the run. Just like the 5k, I would recommend they find ways to shorten the lines for the items.
I was able to claim my race results from Athlinks and I will use them as a reminder of my progression throughout the year. Overall, it was great experience and I am happy to say that I am #Miamifamous now. I would recommend this race to anyone who is interested in a faster, semi-flat course.