Shlomo’s Marathon Experience and/or Race Weekend
· Pre-Race and Expo
o Ease of access to expo and layout – 3 stars – Located in the Miami Beach Convention Center, large, spacious, and easy to navigate. There was plenty of street parking within a few minutes’ walk to the expo, so I didn’t have to pay $15 to park in a lot.
o Knowledge of staff, vendors, and volunteers – 4 stars – All staff including volunteers seemed to be on the same page, extremely friendly, and willing to take the extra step to help with any issues and/or questions
o Overall experience of the expo – 4 stars – The overall atmosphere was warm and welcoming to all participants. It seemed liked everyone was enjoying themselves
· Starting line/Race start
o Ease of access to start line, signage, and coral seeding – 5 stars – If you were staying on the main land in downtown Miami getting to the start of the race was extremely easy. Good signage, lighting, and good communication between all levels of race management (volunteers, law enforcement, and locals)
o Opening ceremonies – 3 stars – Personally, I’m not a big fan of lengthy opening ceremonies. 15 minutes is more than enough.
o Overall experience of the race start – 3-4 stars – Somewhat organized start, non-the-less it’s inevitable that participants are always anxious to get started.
· Race course
o Road surface conditions, mile markers, aid stations, and law enforcement – 5 stars – Road surface was great. Nice wide boulevards to ease the congestion in the first few miles. Mile marker and timer at each mile. 24 aid stations over a course of 26.2 miles, it speaks for itself. Law enforcement was great. Each corner, aid station, and other random spots along the course had some type of security.
o Neighborhoods and crowd support throughout course – 3 stars – Personally, some may say this should also be a 5 star rating. Focusing on racing doesn’t always allow you to focus on everything around you.
o Overall experience of the race course – 4 stars – What can I say, the course was very well marked, good aid stations, signage and support. Thumbs up!
· Post-race/Finish line festival
o Finisher’s medal and awards ceremony – 3 stars – Cool spinning medal and ribbon. Award ceremony was like any other race. Just neutral.
o Ease of access to post-race refreshments – 2 stars – You had to walk a distance to get to your refreshments. Marathoners had to wait extra-long behind the half-marathoners. They should have separate areas of refreshments for full and half marathon participants, like all other races.
o Overall experience of the finish line – 2 stars – Very crowded area, I felt like it was shoulder to shoulder. They could have done a better job in spreading it out more along the water front park.
· In Summary – The 2015 Miami Marathon and Half Marathon took place on 25 January 2015. I had a very pleasurable experience overall. Like anything, there were very good aspects to the event, and other areas that need some improvement. Bottom line, would I go back? I hope to be back in the next few years.
*= Very Dissatisfied
**= Somewhat Dissatisfied