Wednesday 10 February 2016

Miami Half Marathon

To be honest this race was a pain in the arse before I even got there!  Back in October I sent off an entry for an elite or sub elite place.  It was the same form and you put your time down and then they would let you know if you were in.  I knew my time wasn't quite good enough for an elite place but was easily a sub elite.  To cut a long story short after not hearing from them then resending my form, getting confirmation of receipt of form it then gets to January and I still don't know if I'm in the race.  I chase yet again and get told that I'm not in the race as my time isn't quick enough for an elite place.  I was livid as the race was now only 2 weeks away and I'd been chasing for a month to find out.  I had to pass it over to my husband to deal with as I was getting very angry by now.  The response then was that I could have a free entry as a sub elite - why oh why could you not have just said that in the beginning - useless organiser!

On a plus side we were going out there for Dan to run his first ever marathon, business conference and a holiday!  Got to fly upper class with Virgin too which was lovely!  Flew out Thursday and decided to stay on UK time as the race was a 6am start!  Feeling good on Friday then Saturday morning I wake and my whole body is aching and my head is stuffy.  Great.  Went for a jog and felt better for it.  2 hours later and I feel like crap and back to bed.  At this point I really don't know what I'm going to do about the race.

I wake on Sunday morning and feel not much different.  I decide that as Dan's going down to do the marathon anyway that I'll start the half and do as a steady run.  

(As a side note this bad organisation for elites was still in evidence as we were walked from the hotel to a point that was supposed to be near the start.  No toilets for us.  Then when we are walked to the actual start line its mayhem getting there.  Then there is 1 toilet by the start for us - so good that)!

I managed about 6 miles and feeling not great but okay.  More disappointed to be running in a race and only running steady.  I get to around 9 miles and I'm suddenly so cold and dizzy.  I just keep thinking it will be so much easier to just jog to the finish than to drop out and have the hassle of getting back.  Another mile and I really can't carry on.  I pull out and then it is a real hassle to get back especially when feeling so rough.  

To top it off with this bad organisation I get to the elite area by the finish to collect my kit to find that my leggins have been lost.  Basically the woman taking our kit on the line didn't have a bag so it looks like she just dropped them.  

I did manage to get back to my apartment, shower and back to about 400m to go to cheer Dan coming in for his marathon.  He did so well - 3hr 39 for his debut which was considerably faster than either of us were expecting him to do.  Not bad for a swimmer and all down to my excellent coaching!

Its not often I have such bad things to say about a race.  Sometimes there are minor irritations like lack of toilets but when the race is done you've pretty much forgotten about them.  From an elite (or sub elite point of view) this is not a race I would ever do again or recommend.  I think for a normal entry you would be fine though.  It would help really if elite co-ordinators of these races were former athletes of elite/sub elite level to know what an athlete needs.  Most races do get this right!

I then had 3 days of lying in bed in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale with flu.  Luckily Dan had his conference so I wasn't missing any holiday time!  We then went on to have a great holiday travelling Florida - Everglades (alligators), Key West (polydactyl cats and dolphins), Cape Canaveral (rockets)!

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