Towards the end of the race, like I said before, things calmed down a bit. There were a lot more spectators and a lot less drama. There was also a lot more police presence.
The half marathon and the full marathon split around Mile 12. We were worried it wouldn’t be obvious but it was. And yet my race buddy still found herself in the full marathon lane because she had headsets in and wasn’t paying attention to any signs or the chanting of the volunteers. There were even huge signs saying “HALF MARATHON —–>” but apparently it still didn’t clue my buddy in. A race volunteer had to stop her and suggest maybe she was in the wrong lane. My buddy admitted that this was because she was walking at this point (she hadn’t trained for the race) and the volunteer said something like “If you’re walking now, then you probably are in the half marathon, which is over there…” Pretty funny.
It was a loopy finish so you couldn’t even see the finish line until you were right on it. And both me and my buddy clocked the finish at well over 13.1. We got maybe 13.33 or something around that. No big deal to me but my buddy was murderous. Then you have to walk a bit to get your medal and you keep wondering, where is it??? I grabbed the medal and then had to figure out where to go next. There was no obvious flow of traffic. I found a stand that had bananas and grabbed one and picked a random direction to walk. Again, it was not really organized at the end. Then I found a table that had black beans and rice on it. It was such a great post race food! Way better than the standard bagel at most races.
Then the rain started. Huge clouds rolled in and drenched us all. Luckily I was finished and had finished eating by then but my buddy hadn’t. When she finally got in, we ducked under a tent and figured we should hail a cab asap. That was far easier said than done but we were able to get out of there within an hour… a lonnng hour that we spent being accosted by homeless and witnessed one all out verbal fight between a motorcycle Miami PD cop and some vagrant. Fun times. Soaked and dirty and cold and wearing our medals and stealing cabs from people.
It was a good race. Just different. Just like driving in Miami is different than most other places – so is running a foot race there! Run it for yourself. I promise you’ll have great stories! The medal looked way better in person too.