The Lifetime Miami Marathon
The Lifetime Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, formerly the ING Marathon and Half Marathon, is Miami’s premiere race, and has successfully brought Miami into the conversation of great running cities. Taking place annually in late January or early February, the marathon and half-marathon play host to over 25,000 participants each year, beginning at 601 Biscayne Boulevard, right in between the American Airlines Arena and The Freedom Tower.
A Route With A Beautiful View
The Lifetime Miami Marathon slogan, “Run Miami Famous,” lives up to the hype. Almost every famous Miami landmark from the big screen are covered on the 26.2 mile course. The race takes runners from around the world across the MacArthur Causeway, passing landmarks such as Watson Island, Port Miami, Palm Island, Star Island and Fisher Island on their way to Miami Beach. After curling around South Pointe in South Beach, the race heads north up the famous Ocean Drive, through the City of Miami Beach, including a half mile stretch along the Miami Beach Golf Club, and we’re still just getting started.
All those sights are within the first 8 miles of the race, before crossing back to Downtown Miami through the beautiful island chain of the Venetian Causeway. The course continues along NE 15th Street, past the Omni Center, and then heads south down Miami Avenue, through Downtown Miami.
The half marathoners finish right around the corner, at Bayfront Park, while the full marathon runners continue south down Miami Avenue, through the Financial District and into the historic tree canopied neighborhood of Coconut Grove. Once reaching downtown Coconut Grove, the marathoners head back north past Miami City Hall and up scenic Bayshore Drive before making a right to arguably the most breathtaking view of the entire race halfway up Rickenbacker Causeway.
After taking in the view of Downtown Miami from the Rickenbacker, the marathon turns back north, up Brickell Avenue, and finishing at Bayfront Park in Downtown.
The marathon and half marathon courses have become incredibly appealing to the most casual runners, taking you to nearly every point of interest and beautiful view in the city, but for the dedicated racer the only sight to focus on is their finishing time, a medal and a much needed bottle of water.
View ‘Miami Marathon 2014‘ video.
The Marathon’s Success
The marathon is an official Boston Marathon qualifier and a certified USATF course, both impressive considering the Miami Marathon has only been around for 10 years, starting in 2003. The race went from a small race, hopelessly trying to lift Miami into the realm of great American running cities, to a large-scale event boasting over 25,000 participants each year that generates over $50 million for the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County.
Originally started by local Miamian Frankie Ruiz, the race has become much more than Miami’s running community could have ever dreamed of. The race organizers have done a tremendous job growing the race each year, but they all give credit to the course itself. They say the runners count on the course each year to pull them through each mile, and the course doesn’t let them down. Mile after mile, the views and the sounds help propel runners to the finish line, and have them coming back the following year.
World-class racers and casual runners alike travel to Miami for the event each year, from all parts of the world. Push yourself to the limit during the race, but weather doesn’t get any better than Miami in January. Make sure to stay a few extra days to rest after the race to enjoy Miami during “wintertime.”
The Cheering Zone
Know someone running in the marathon or want to cheer the runners? Head to the Omni Station Cheering Zone located at NE 15th Street and Biscayne Blvd from 6:40 am to 8:55 am.The Cheering Zone is ideally located at Mile 10.5 to cheer both marathon and half marathon runners alike.
What Can You Expect at the Cheering Zone?
- Go signs you can customize for your favorite runner
- Thunder sticks and other noise makers to “turbo boost” runners to the finish line
- Pace bands to estimate the time your runner will run by the Cheering Zone
- Emcee and live entertainment to keep you dancing in the streets and cheering for joy
Registration and Check-In
Now officially run by US Road Sports & Entertainment Group, the Miami Marathon is open to males and females from any nation, as well as wheelchair participants. Registration for the marathon vary in price and is open to the public months in advance of the race date. Elite runners interested in Elite Program are asked to complete an application by November on their website.
With the race beginning at 6:05 am for wheelchair participants and 6:15 am for marathon participants, all participants need to be in the runner corrals no later than 5:55 am.
Runners will be able to check-in belongings near the finish line of the race on Biscayne Blvd. The check-in area will be on the north end of Bayfront Park.