Marathon number 23 was the Miami Marathon on January 25 2009.

Clock time of 3:42:43 and chip time of 3:42:07. I finished 624 overall and 489 among men.

I was planning to take my time with this one, although not as much time as I did. My goal was 3:30 and I stayed right on pace up to mile 21.The 10k split was 48:54, half was 1:43:43 and 30K was 2:29:06. Clearly something bad happened in the last 10k. Lesson learned: training seems to be important. I trained reasonably, although not particularly agressively for the Marine Corps in October. I didn't do any speed work but I did make some long runs and tried to get some extra mileage during the week. I was curious to see if Marine Corps conditioning would last 3 months without normal mileage. The answer seems to be no. On the other hand it was pretty hot in Miami. This was probably my slowest run with no walking. I just settled into a reasonably comfortable trot for the last few miles, finishing with 11-12 minute splits. The GPS splits are at db on the run.

This was my first visit to Miami. The variety of American cities and regions is amazing. Each has a unique economic and social basis.. Miami is the capital of a Latin empire, one heard as much Spanish as English at the marathon and there were significant crowds of runners from Peru, Costa Rica, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't actually spend much time in Miami. Rachael was at rowing camp in Wellington, which is near Palm Beach and 60 miles from Miami, so we stayed up north. I drove down to Miami Beach to get my packet on Saturday, but parking was so hard to find at the Convention Center that I parked at a 30 minute meter and was in and out in 20 minutes.

I got a great tour during the marathon, however. It started at before dawn (at 6:15, the early start was a good thing since it was already over 60F). Leaving from the Heat's arena, we took 3 miles to cross the MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach. The race is actually more a half than a true marathon, there were 12,000 people running the half and only 3,500 in the full. So it was crowded and most of the surrounding people had a different mind set for the first half. It was beautiful, but hard to see much, as we passed cruise ships in the dark. The sun came up on Miami Beach, where we ran just off the beach on Ocean Bolevard. Mile 8 to Mile 11 coming back on the Venetian Causeway is the prettiest part of the race. From there it is mostly a slog through the coastal neighborhoods. I felt sorry for drivers, the race seemed to have trapped quite a few people for what looked like long delays. The run out onto the Rickenbacker Causeway ought to be pretty, but I was in sufficient pain by the turn onto the causeway at mile 22 and the sun and concrete were sufficiently hot, that it felt a bit like Camus' Algeria. The 3:30 pace group kept coming on my heals in miles 17-19, finally I had to let them go at mile 21. Then the 3:40 pace group passed just before the finish...

The race was very well organized, it is the only marathon I have run that had enough porta pottys on the course.

Here is picture at the finish:

Miami Finish