Miami by Marathon
Sunday January 25: In the 6:00 a.m. darkness, the pre-race temperature is chilly, about 16ºC, though expected to reach 23ºC by mid-morning. The race starts promptly at 6:15 a.m. outside the American Airlines Arena, home of past NBA champions Miami Heat, with 12,376 runners heading north on Biscayne Blvd, some running 13.1 miles and some the full 26.2 mls
Soon, it’s a right turn onto MacArthur Causeway, then the sharp climb over the bridge to Watson Island. On the right hand side across the water, giant cruise ships are moored in a row. The reflection from their deck lights flickers on the calm waters of Biscayne Bay.
In good time the athletes are running through South Beach and alongside the Miami Beach Golf Course. The 7:07 dawn catches runners on Dade Blvd approaching the Venetian Causeway which crosses six islands as the race heads west, back to the mainland.
The scenic view alone is worth the eight miles of effort thus far, with the high rise Miami skyline of steel, concrete and glass, coated in the pastel shades of sunrise.
Over the next two miles, they cross a series of islands- Belle Isle, Rio Alto, Di Lido, San Marino, San Marco and Biscayne.
At dinner the night before the big event: From L-R, John Lum Young, Debra Agong, Alfred Patrick and Malene Duncan.
The team had enjoyed pasta dinner here the night, among a crowd so thick that one might forget that this was a country in the grip of recession. From comments overheard, some people preferred to spend money on a good time rather than repair property that was declining in value. A case of instant gratification trumping delayed reward.
Back on the road, aching legs get a burst of new life from entertainment at Miles 18, 19, 20, 23 and, particularly, 25 where the entertainment on Brickell Ave, outside the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate, is provided by TrinBago Village.
Then come the final sharp climb over bridge and a long surge to the finish at Bayfront Park.
Soon, it’s time to leave Miami behind after another memorable marathon weekend. For Malene Duncan, it’s particularly unforgettable, having made an excellent debut, placing 24th among the women.