Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Everglades National Part, Florida Part 11

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 10

Everglades National Part, Florida Part 9

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 8

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 7

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 6

Monday, January 29, 2007

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 5

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 4

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 3

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 2

Everglades National Park, Florida Part 1

Miami, Florida scenes

ING Miami Marathon
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Miami, Florida

I race walked the ING Miami Marathon on Sunday, January 28, 2007. The start of the race was 6:10 AM and by 5:15 AM it began raining. Just a gentle rain at first, then harder and harder. The rain continued until around 6:30 AM. This made for a miserable start of the race as everyone had to wait in the chutes in the rain. There was a major puddle near the start line, which cause a major backup after the race started. People were afraid to step in the water even though everyone was totally drenched. It took more than 8 minutes to reach the start line after the gun went off.
Fortunately the temperature was around 70 degrees so I did not get too cold before the start. Once the rain quit, the race was pleasant although there were some puddles that needed to be avoided. The starting area also had much construction which also cause much congestion for the first half of a mile. Once the race entered the MacArthur Parkway, there was plently of space for each competitor. The first three water stations were also crowded; however, this is normal and should be expected in large races.
The whole event was well organized and there were plenty of volunteers. Every intersection had somebody controlling traffic. Major intersection had 3 or 4 police officers directing and controlling traffic. There were 23 water and gatorade stations which made it easy to stay hydrated when the temperature reached around 75.
2007 represented the fifth year for this event and I have done each one. As a result, when I crossed the finish line, in addition to receiving my finisher's medal, I also received a nice New Balance jacket as did the rest of the five year finishers. This was a very pleasant bonus.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Phoenix, Arizona Scenes Part 5

Phoenix, Arizona Scenes Part 4

Phoenix, Arizona Scenes Part 3

Phoenix, Arizona Scenes Part 2

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Phoenix, Arizona Scenes Part 1

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

PF Chang Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon
Phoenix, Arizona
Sunday, January 14, 2007

I race walked the PF Chang Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon on Sunday, January 14, 2007. It was cold. The temperature at the start was 29 and by the end of my marathon it was around 40. Fortunately it was sunny with almost no wind. The course was flat and even though there were 16000+ in the marathon, the course was not crowded. This was accomplished by using multiple traffic lanes throughout. I had plenty of space after the first half mile. Even the water stations, which were located about every mile, were on both sides of the road, covering much distance, so as not to be too crowded.
The half marathon, which had 27000+ participants, started at a different time and used a completely different course. I was told it was somewhat crowded.
There were live bands almost every mile and you could hear music almost continuously throughout the course. The volunteers were wonderful and numerous and the police closed the side roads a full block away from the course. There were many spectators; however, not as many as was at the Marine Corps Marathon or Disney World Marathon. I think the cold kept many away. The event was very well organized. It is a good course to get a PR and I got my best time of the season-- 5:00:38.
There was a free concert on Sunday evening; however, I did not go as I had enough of the cold for one day.
The event also featured many world class athletes as there was big prize money for the elite athletes. Unlike last year, no world records were set.
I have a few pictures of the Phoenix area which will be posted in a later posting.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Disney Characters at Disney World, Florida

Disney World Epcot, Florida

Disney World MGM Studios, Florida