Another Miami Half Marathon in the books. It looks like this is going to be a regular race on the docket each and every year, for better or for worse. The good news is that this year it was for better!
I said it earlier this year but now it’s confirmed, the Miami Expo is the best expo I’ve ever been to. I’m not sure how other people judge expos or what I should be expecting from one, but the Miami Expo gives tons of swag, has interesting things going on, things for sale that you don’t already find at every run store in your area, and I spend more time there than at any other expo. And this is coming from someone who just went to the Disney World Marathon where the expo was so disappointing I couldn’t even believe it. Miami gives away a ton of samples of things from bags of rice to lip balm to sunglasses to free race entries!
There are a bunch of places to park near the expo, but apparently the closest parking garage (a block away) fills up quickly and they close it down until enough cars leave to reopen it again. We got there around noon on Saturday, which I figured was the worst time in the world but it all went really well. Then at the expo they have all these flags from different countries and everyone stops to take a picture next to the flag of their country. Then you grab the shirt (I liked last year’s shirt better, but my race buddy feels the opposite) and the rest of your packet, and then head to a bunch of different booths. We stood in line for every “spin the wheel” raffle thing and won a bunch of great stuff. In fact, every time we went up to a wheel, we both mentioned what things we wanted and we both spun exactly to those things! It happened every single time and we felt so lucky that we went out and got lotto tickets too!
The weather was so cold that there was no beach time on Saturday, we went straight back to rest. Saturday night before race day is always the worst for me. I tell myself I’m calm but spend the entire night disproving that. We ate an early dinner of these amazing hummus wraps (*ahem* and beer). I was wondering if by eating at 4pm we were eating too early but I didn’t care. That’s about the latest I can ever eat before a race. Then I stepped out of character and got a lot of stuff assembled for the next morning instead of rushing. Now we had to decide on transportation. Last time we took a cab and it was awful because we couldn’t get back after the race. This time we decided to drive in but didn’t know how to go about it. I spent a lot of time debating the locations of parking options on the map before deciding. (I go over different scenarios and issues ad nauseum… yeah, it probably sucks to go to races with me)
We both slept pretty well considering (all 2.5 hours). We got out the door by 430 and were probably parked by 445. The traffic wasn’t as bad as you’d imagine. We chose the G4 parking at Miami tower for a $10 flat rate, which was pretty great. Those other parking lots were $15 and looked sketchy, at least when compared to a proper parking garage. The location of the garage made it really easy if you wanted to check a bag too because you are closer to the bag check down that way. It’s also just two blocks from where you exit the Bayfront Park.
Next: Miami Marathon, Part II