Sunday, January 29, 2017

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Running Miami Beach Like A Local

Earlier today 23,000 runners tackled the Miami Marathon despite freezing, rainy conditions. Guess who ran along side them for the entire Miami Beach portion? Your favorite born-again-runner-slash-Miami-blogger, of course! You see, every Sunday morning I get up early and go for a long run either through South Pointe Park and over the MacArthur or up the beachwalk across the Venetian Causeway. The exercise and the views are my surefire way of preventing the Sunday blues from kicking in.

This morning I left for my run to the horde of marathoners running past my doorstep, down my go-to routes. As I watched them pass by, I was reminded of when I ran the Key West Half Marathon two weeks ago and set a new personal record, finishing in 2:02:43. The memory of my accomplishment and the enthusiasm of the spectators—I especially credit the guy chanting in the white robe and the guy strumming a banjo on Ocean Drive—gave me major FOMO. I desperately needed to be a part of the action and, since I was headed their way anyway, I decided to run the Miami Beach portion of the course.

This was my second time running the Miami Marathon. The 2012 Miami Marathon was the first half marathon I ever ran, inspiring me to run 4 more since. And, while today's participation was informal, it was an electrifying experience nonetheless. I can't stress how lucky we are to live in a city with routes so scenic people traveled from 82 different countries to race here. Whether you're an experienced runner or just getting started, Miami Beach is the perfect setting for logging those miles. What are your favorite routes? I share my top two, along with photos from today's adventures, below.

1. Venetian Causeway Loop
Spanning the Venetian Islands and connecting Miami to Miami Beach, the causeway offers beautiful views of the city while being surrounded by the pristine waters of Biscayne Bay. There's nothing like the salty breeze and the views to get you going. The loop from the Sunset Harbour public parking garage to the Venetia on the City of Miami side and back is approximately 6 miles. Pro tip: There are no water fountains along the way so bring your own. Restrooms are available on the Miami side on the 9th Floor of the Venetia (next to Mike's at Venetia).

2. South Beach Loop
The beachwalk that runs along South Beach's east coast is an ideal place to run both northbound and southbound. For my 8-mile runs, I like to immerse myself in the action of Lummus Park, around the beauty of South Pointe Park, along the MacArthur Causeway and back. The best part is running to the end of the South Pointe Park pier and back, which I hit twice during this route. There are plenty of restrooms and water stations (at 6th Street, 3rd Street, and at South Pointe Park), making this loop ideal for longer runs. Pro tip: The MacArthur can be daunting because there's nothing to separate you from Miami's terrible drivers, so tackle it early in the morning when it is less trafficked and keep a watchful eye for cars.

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