Yesterday I ran my first half marathon (13.1 miles) and it was such an incredible experience, to say the least. To have weeks of training pay off and to say that I was able to accomplish something I would have never thought possible, was extremely reassuring and motivating. We arrived at the American Airlines Arena, at 5:00 in the morning, along with 20,000 other runners from eighty countries and all fifty States. The race officially began at 6:15 but since my brother, sister, and I were assigned to the last corral, it must have been close to 6:50 by the time we finally started. We crossed the Miami Causeway, passing by the Port of Miami where all of the cruise ships were docked. As we made our way into South Beach, we ran along Ocean Drive, home to the Versace Mansion as well as the Miami Art Deco District. From there, we cut through a few streets which led us to the Venetian Causeway, before passing through Downtown Miami and finally arriving back to the Miami Airlines Arena.
The nonstop energy from the runners, and the support from local spectators are what truly made the half marathon so worthwhile. People held posters, passed out energy chews, and offered high-fives as we ran past them, but hearing their cheers and words of encouragement helped us make it to the end. Some of the more comical posters like “Chafe now, brag later,” “Why do all of the cute ones always run away,” and the ones pictured below showed how supportive the locals were, making the event that much more enjoyable. It was beyond rewarding to cross the finish line and know that hard work and determination really did pay off. Not to mention, with the help of family members, friends, and fellow bloggers, we were able to raise $1,200 and counting for Misioneros Del Camino, a home to abandoned, neglected, and abused children in Guatemala.
Setting a goal and working towards it, achieving the goal, and running for a cause has been an unforgettable experience and I am so glad that I was able to follow through with it. I can’t help but wish that running in a half marathon was on my bucket list so I could say I successfully completed it. However, it was still rewarding, nonetheless! While describing their running experience, I heard someone after the marathon exclaim that the only person who ever doubted her crossing the finish line was herself. But it just comes to show that when you have your mind set on something, all you need is persistence and a little support to help you reach your goal. In an attempt to make myself sound like a master runner, I won’t tell you what kind of pain my legs were in after the race and how difficult it was to get into and out of the car on the way home. I’ll instead mention that I’m considering signing up for another half marathon in the near future, so it’s looking like this will be the beginning of a great running experience!