On January 30th, I completed my 7th half-marathon in Miami Beach, FL with 20+ other Sparkers. It was a bit of a reunion with the group that met in New Orleans in February 2010, but some new SparkFriends joined us, too!
I arrived on that Friday--Deej, Tammy, and her hubby/honorary Sparker, Danny, were on the same flight from Atlanta to Miami, so we shared a cab from the airport to our hotel. After getting settled and exploring the beach a little bit, we met up with the Spark group for dinner at a Greek restaurant. The food was great and it was Sharon's birthday!
Deej and me at the Greek restaurant
Saturday morning, I took a walk along the beach with Christy and Beth. What a great way to start the day! We met up with the rest of the group and had some breakfast before heading off to the expo to pick up our race packets.
More exploring, shopping, beaching that afternoon. Dani (FINALLY!) got in from Chicago that evening and we went out to dinner with Deej, Jill, Beth, Christy, and CJ at a bistro that was close to our hotel. The service was slow, but the food was good and the company was outstanding!
We made it an early night because we had to get up at 4am the next day to catch the shuttle by 4:45 to take us to the start line. Dani and I were assigned the same corral, and that's where we met Lewis. Lewis was 80 years old and has completed 9 full marathons. Go, Lewis! What an inspiration!
The course was beautiful! Lined with palm trees and cruise ships! Wow! Dani and I ran together the whole race. That was the first time I've run a race with someone and it was great! It was nice to have someone to talk to and keep me going. Thank you, Dani!
Dani and me after the race
After the race, we met up with all of the other Sparkers. We hung out for a while and we wanted to wait for Sharon and Carolyn who were doing the full marathon. For Carolyn, it was her first! Woo hoo, ladies! You should have seen these two at the end of the race. They looked GREAT! Like they could have run it again right then and there!
Our post-race glycogen-replacing meal was pizza--on the beach! Dani, Deej, CJ, Christy, and I ordered pizza and took it to the beach. The weather was perfect and we talked and ate pizza and rested a bit. Now THAT is a post-race celebration!
The beach. We don't have one of these in Omaha.
A cruise ship leaving Miami, heading for the Caribbean.
Christy and I did a little shopping and found a place for all of us to have dinner. After dinner, it was back to the hotel for the good-byes. Those are no fun.
Early day on Monday to get to the airport. My wonderful hubby picked me up. We were having freezing drizzle and I got back home right before that massive winter storm hit most of the country that week.
Thank you, my wonderful SparkFriends--Dani, Deej, Gail, Tammy, John, JoPa, Suezette, Jill, CJ, Christy, Beth, Sharon, Carolyn, Edwina, and honorary Sparkers--Danny, Dave, and Larry--and others whose names aren't coming to me right now, I'm sorry! Thank you for a wonderful race weekend!