ING MIAMI HALF MARATHON COURSE INFORMATION

After each year’s half marathon, we pay tribute to the star of the show… the course. Runners count on the course each year to pull them through each mile, and every year this course doesn’t let them down. 13.1 miles of Miami views and sounds help propel one to the finish line. This half marathon course basically has everything in common with the full marathon route, for it shares the same route for 12.8 miles.

“…The first predawn mile along the MacArthur Causeway brought views of the cruise ships. As the sun rose on Ocean Drive, the horizon glowed in cockatoo-and flamingo-feathered hues. Sailboats bobbed in the waters off the Venetian Causeway…”
– Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, January 31, 2005

Many of those hot spots used as back-drops for model photo shoots found in trendy fashion magazines and on television and movies are all part of the 13.1 mile course. The flat, slightly breezy, and clean streets of Miami’s most famous neighborhoods will most certainly set the stage for personal record times. After completing the race and recapturing your breath from these majestic course sights you’ll be asking for an application to run the full marathon in 2009!

The Start Line:

The 13.1 mile course starts and finishes in the same area. The race will start heading north in front of the American Airlines Arena (official home of the Miami Heat Basketball team).

Address: 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131

The start for the half marathon is at the same time and in the same general area as for the ING Miami Marathon.

The Finish Line:

Runners will finish heading north adjacent to Bayfront Park which is located only 4 blocks south of the start line.

Address: 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131

The course is the same as the full marathon with the exception of the last 800 meters where half-marathoners will branch “LEFT” from the full marathoners. Please look for volunteers and signs that indicate the “LEFT” turn off point.

Gear Check-In:

You will be able to check your belongings near the finish line. Gear check is near the finish line at the north end of Bayfront Park. Please use the bag provided at packet Pick Up. Affix to your bag your bib number sticker which was provided in your registration packet. Please make sure your belongings are well-marked with your contact information. We are NOT responsible for damaged or lost items.

Turn-by-Turn and Mile Markers:

Click here for detailed turn-by-turn directions and mile markers for the Half Marathon.
Click here for a descriptive and elaborate course narrative with historical and interesting facts of each mile.

ING Half-Marathon Aid Stations:

  • Zephyrhills Water will be provided at each aid station throughout the course.
  • Aid Stations will begin after the 2.5 Mile mark.
  • Gatorade Endurance Formula (Lemon-Lime) will be provided at every aid station.
  • There will be an aid station at the start and finish line.
  • Clif Bar Gels will be available at Mile 11.
  • Medical personnel will also be present at several stations, start line, and finish area. The medical team from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will make sure runners are provided with top notch first-aid care.
  • Over 60 port-o-let units will be placed at each aid station for your convenience.

Course Elevation Information:

The truth is Miami and Miami Beach are at sea level; we have really no noticeable elevation changes. However, we do have to have a way to get from one beautiful piece of land to another without getting our feet in the water. Description of bridges or as we say in Miami “hills”:

  • A 1/4 of a mile into the race there is the largest of the bridges (9 meters above sea level-highest elevation on the course) that is really not too tough because it is gradual and early in the race. This bridge connects us to Watson Island.
  • At the 2.5 mile mark you’ll have a second incline that is less gradual of an incline but much lower in height than the first bridge. This connects us to the island of Miami Beach.
  • At the 8.5 mile mark you’ll encounter a “hump” drawbridge that really isn’t anything that will slow you down nor take much out of you. This is just more island hopping.
  • At the 10.5 mile mark there is another “hump” just slightly higher than the 8.5 mile drawbridge.

Course Entertainment:

Miami is known for entertaining its visitors and residents, so of course we couldn’t have a half marathon without offering Miami-Style entertainment. In fact you’ll be getting over 15 entertainment stations along your journey through paradise. One spot we recommend you look out for is our entertainment on the water. As you cross the Venetian Causeway you’ll notice a truly unique entertainment feature: a live band on a boat!

Entertainment is provided by Music Desires.

ING Cheering Zone & Community Fun Zones

The ING Miami Half Marathon course is extremely spectator friendly. You can give your loved one a shout of encouragement or snap a photo of them with a dramatic Miami backdrop in one of the many different areas that the course winds through.

ING Cheering Zone – Omni Station

Mile: 10.5
Location: NE 15th St and Biscayne Blvd.
Hours of Operation: 6:40 am to 8:45 am

Tips: This ING Cheering zone is ideally located at Mile 10.5 to cheer both marathon and half marathon runners alike.

Getting There: From anywhere in downtown, take the MetroMover’s Omni loop to Omni station. Exit the train and you are there (aprox 5 minutes ride)

What can you expect at the ING 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
• Complimentary snacks and beverages
• ING Pace bands to estimate the time your runner will run by the ING Cheering Zone
• Emcee and live entertainment to keep you dancing in the streets and cheering for joy

What to bring with you?

• Comfortable walking shoes
• Bright, colorful clothing (preferably orange)
• Camera for that special moment…you know the one
• A reliable wristwatch to keep track of the race

ING COMMUNITY FUN ZONE
The ING Community Fun Zone Challenge is designed to encourage spectator and community participation in the ING Miami Marathon®. There will be five ING Community Fun Zones along the 26.2 mile course, each run by a different group or organization. Our goal for this event is to form a foundation on which we can continue to build into an event that involves, engages and gives back to the community.

SPECTATOR TIPS
Viewing a friend or family member running in the marathon or half-marathon is easier than you think. Your runner will be following the course, while you can take shortcuts back and forth on the course and get to your next ING Cheer Zone before your runner does. However, since the object here is to both see and be seen, you’ll need to work out a few details beforehand.

THE FINISH LINE
To see the actual finish, all you need is to get to Bayfront Park. We are providing bleachers for our spectators which are available on a first come first serve basis. These bleachers are located just south of the finish line.

Other important course details:

  • The 13.1 mile course is a USATF certified flat single loop course.
  • There are several bridges well spread out along the course with a very slight graduated incline. The bridges are being held in the closed-to-vessel position for the duration of the race.
  • The half marathon course will remain open for 3 hours & 30 minutes (with aid stations and other staff support). The finish line will remain open for 4 hours (meaning you will receive your certificate and other finish line ammenities).
  • The course will close at a graduated pace, approximately 16 minutes/mile. When the course closes it will no longer have aid station nor other course support, participants will need to abide by normal pedestrian rules.
  • Digital time clocks will be positioned throughout the course.
  • Course markers, directional arrows, and other signage will be positioned throughout the course. Pay attention at the “LEFT” turn off point towards the finish line.
  • ChampionChip mats will be placed at the 10K point.
  • Several digital clocks at the Finish Line will display unofficial times.
  • The half-marathon will feature music and entertainment along the course for both spectators and runners.
  • If you signed-up for the half marathon and you decide to run the full marathon you will be considered a “Bandit” runner. Therefore, you will not be considered an official finisher. Please register for the race you plan on running.

Weather Conditions:

Miami’s COOL and so is our weather…

The time period for the marathon is historically among Miami’s driest and coolest time of the year. Nevertheless, we recommend that you please plan and prepare accordingly. Miami’s weather can be humid and warm.Run Miami Beach

Get a sense for how pleasant our climate is during that time of the year…

  • Start low 60’s
  • Noon low 70’s
  • 2003 start temperature 51° F
  • 2004 start temperature 65° F
  • 2005 start temperature 63° F
  • 2006 start temperature 70° F
  • 2007 start temperature 68° F

* The winter in Miami can vary drastically so please plan accordingly in case
marathon day is warm and humid.

ABOUT HYPONATREMIA

Two runners have died in the US from Hyponatremia while participating in a Marathon these past couple of years. The article below, written by Carolyn McClanahan, M.D., a family physician with Jacksonville Emergency Consultants, should give you basic information to help you avoid this condition.

Prevention of Under and Over-Hydration
Rules for the Long Road

When and how to hydrate has been a controversial subject since the dawn of hard work and exercise. Back and forth the pendulum swings. Drink a lot, drink a little, don’t drink at all. We now know that there is danger in too much and in too little water. As Ben Franklin would say, the answer is moderation; but for hydration we have to add a pinch of salt.

Dehydration
The human body has an incredible capacity to adjust to a lack of fluid intake. The main issue with dehydration in runners is the importance of fluids in preventing heat injury. Symptoms of heat injury include swelling and tightness of the hands and feet, light-headedness, cramps, muscle spasm, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache and muscle aches. More severe symptoms include irritability, bizarre behavior, combativeness, hallucinations, seizures, and coma. Even death may occur.

Over-hydration
Over-hydration with water can lead to dilution of salt in our body fluids which causes a condition known as hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia are fatigue, weakness, cramping, nausea, vomiting, bloating, swelling and tightness of the hands and feet, dizziness, headache, confusion, fainting, seizures, coma, and even death. The symptoms are very similar to heat injury, and for doctors, the clue to telling these two conditions apart is the core body temperature and blood work. It is very important to get the correct diagnosis quickly, as the treatment for each is very different.

Hyponatremia due to exercise has previously been a very uncommon condition. However, with increased participation in marathons and other ultra-events, and the pendulum swinging to athletes over-hydrating with water, more cases are occurring. Risk factors include being female, sustained activity greater than 4 hours, excessive water intake 1 to 2 days before an event, and taking medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin before an event. Many other types of medications can also impair our ability to conserve salt.

Prevention
The key to preventing heat injury and hyponatremia is adequate hydration with appropriate fluids. Many theories abound on fluid replacement types and amounts. Basically, an athlete should replace the amount of fluids lost through sweating. Due to genetics, we all sweat at different rates. One way to determine the amount that you sweat is to weigh yourself before and after an hour of exercise. For every pound lost through sweating, drink 16 ounces per hour during your event. It is important to keep in mind that weather conditions can affect this also, so adjust accordingly. Common sense is important – if you are thirsty, you probably need to drink.

If you plan on exercising more than an hour, be sure to replace your sodium. Effective ways to do this are to increase the salt in your diet for a couple of days before your race. In addition, be sure to drink sports drinks that contain sodium. Skip the salt tablets, as the amount of sodium they contain is too high.

Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen before or during your race, as these medications can impair your ability to conserve salt. If you must take a pain reliever, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is safer and doesn’t affect salt balance.

Most importantly, if during or after your race you begin to have any of the symptoms described, be sure to stop and get medical attention. We run to stay healthy and happy, and around here, there is always another race to try.

Carolyn McClanahan, M.D., is a family physician with Jacksonville Emergency Consultants.

QUICK TIPS ON HYDRATION

Dehydration – lack of fluids increasing the chance of heat injury.

Hyponatremia – too much water intake leading to dilution of salt in the body

Risk Factors For Hyponatremia
Sustained activity greater than 4 hours
Excessive water intake 1 to 2 days before event
Taking medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen
Certain prescription medications
Female gender

Symptoms of Both
Swelling and tightness of the hands and feet
Fatigue, weakness
Light-headedness and dizziness
Cramps and muscle spasms
Nausea, vomiting
Headache
Muscle aches
Bizarre behavior, combativeness, hallucinations
Seizures
Coma
Death

Prevention
Determine your “sweat genetics” – weigh yourself before and after an hour of intense exercise. For every pound lost, replace with 16 ounces of fluid per hour of your event. You may need to adjust this with weather conditions.

Pay attention to thirst – if you are thirsty, you probably need to drink.

If exercising more than an hour, be sure to replace your sodium by increasing the salt in your diet a couple of days before your event and by using sports drinks that contain sodium.

Avoid salt tablets due to excessive sodium content.

Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen before or during your race.

If you are on prescription medications, ask your doctor if any of your medications have an effect on the concentration of sodium in your body.

If during or after the race you begin to have any of the symptoms described, be sure to stop and seek medical attention.