Monday, January 29, 2018

Miami Half Marathon
Miami, Florida
Sunday, January 28, 2018

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 I race walker the Miami Half Marathon in Miami, Florida.  The temperature remained in the low 70’s for the entire race with mostly cloudy skies and 10-15 mph winds with higher gusts.  Water/Gatorade Stations were located approximately every mile.  The volunteers tried hard to keep up with the needs of the 13871 participants in the half marathon and the 2889 participants in the full marathon; however, they were unable to do so because the tables were too close together and there were not enough volunteers.  The course utilized roads that were completely closed to traffic and started at the American Airlines Arena went out to Miami Beach on the MacArthur Causeway where that was a high bridge near mile one that represented the only hill of any consequence but was not vary challenging.  The return trip to Miami was on a different causeway which only had bridges of low elevation.  The finish was south of the Arena on Biscayne Boulevard.  All the roads were completely closed to traffic and no cars crossed the course even at intersections.  In the past there were extreme back-ups and honking drivers at many intersections.  This was the sixteenth time for this event and my wife, Gerda, and I have done it every year.  As a special way to recognize us and the few other participants who have done it every year, a second bib stating that fact was supplied for wearing on our backs and we were assigned to the third of 14 corrals behind the elite corral and the seeded corral with participants that were twice as fast as us and required the rest of the field to pass us.  As a result many people congratulated us they read our bib as they passed us which was very nice of them.  The roads were wide and we did not seem to block anyone’s way.  I have always liked the way that I have been treated by the organizers and this makes me want to return.  We signed up for the 2019 addition of the event at a special early bird price when we got home on Sunday evening.  The exposition this year was at the Mana Wynwood (as it was in 2016) which is in the graffiti art section of Miami where almost every possible surface is covered with graffiti, much of which shows that many of the artists have much talent.  However, I am not sure how safe the neighborhood would be at night as most businesses and homes have bars on the windows and doors and security fences.  Also graffiti is usually associated with gang activity and high crime areas.  I would prefer that the exposition be held in a safer part of Miami or Miami Beach as it was the other 14 years.

The Exposition

Before the Race

After the Race

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Key West Half Marathon
Key West, Florida
Sunday, January 14, 2018

I did not have to travel very far to complete this half marathon as it occurred in Key West which is my home town.  It was a little cool for Key West as the temperature varied from 57 to 62 degrees with overcast skies and a wind of 15-20 mph.  The course was basically and out and back through old town Key West past it most famous sites and along the Atlantic Ocean utilizing paved roadways and bike paths.  For the most part the roads had very little traffic and the event used a dedicated lane most of the time that roadways were used.  The extremely well organized event consisted of a half marathon which had 3360 entries and 2440 finishers and a 5K which had 1063 entries and 845 finishers.  Every intersection had both police officers and several volunteers ensuring the safety of everyone.  Water/Electrolyte Stations were spaced every mile and had plenty of friendly efficient volunteers from local organizations and retiree Navy tourist from the Naval Air Station.  There were numerous live musical performers along the course.  Renowned artists, Barry Cuda and Howard Livingston and his band who live in Key West, also performed.  This was the twentieth time for the event which has been recommended, rightly so, as a great destination half marathon.  I have done this enjoyable event many times and would recommend it as a wonderful way to escape the cold that is usually experienced at this time of year in most of the USA.

My wife, Gerda, and me

Before the Race

After the Race

Various Friends at the Race

Howard Livingston and his Band
Performing After the Race

Monday, January 08, 2018

Beachside Half Marathon
Vero Beach, Florida
Sunday, January 7, 2018

On January 7, 2018 I race walked the Beachside Half Marathon in Vero Beach, Florida.  The temperature remained in the 50’s with mostly sunny skies and a breeze of 10 mph in exposed places.  The course utilized roadways and paved bike paths that were mostly closed to traffic through the Vero Beach community.  Except for two high level bridges that cross the Indian River, the course was almost flat.  The course was planned well so that traffic did not seem to back up anywhere.  Intersections were controlled by friendly police that insured that the traffic and the approximately 300 participants flowed safely and efficiently.  The course was well marked with yellow arrows painted on the roadways.  There were also signs at each of the numerous turns and one or more volunteers as well.  Water/Powerade station were located approximately at one mile intervals and they were manned by plenty of friendly efficient volunteers.  This is the first time that I have done this enjoyable well organized event.  I even managed to place third in my running age group even though I walked the entire way.

Before the Race

After the Race

Chester "Key West Southernmost Walker" Kalb
Daniel Noonan

Florida Scenes

National Navy UDT-Seal Museum

Cape Canaveral National Seashore

Sebastian Fishing Museum