Over 20 thousand runners originating from over 80 different countries came together this past weekend to participate in the 17th edition of the Miami International Marathon & Half Marathon.
The starting shot rang out at 6am at the American Airlines Arena, where a comfortable weather of 18°C saw the many different categories start, with a five minutes’ difference between each.
“There’s no doubt it is a well planned and executed marathon, with water stations placed every two kilometers on a course that combined flat lengths of road with more difficult ones, slight elevations and depressions, as well as the starting bridge and the Brickwell one, in both ways,” said Ernesto Linzalata, journalist and member of Team Avelina, who sponsors the event.
The event was perfect as a reunion spot for the hundreds of Venezuelan expats that now live in the U.S., as well as the many that traveled from Venezuela for a chance to participate in the marathon.
“It was a very gratifying experience, for which I must, above all, thank Avelina for making me a member of their team. Their treatment of all Venezuelans, both the ones that traveled from Caracas and the ones that live in Miami, was excellent at all points,” said Linzalata.
The 42km race saw 22-year-old Ezekiel Kipsang from Kenya be the first one across the finishing line, with a time of 2h16m36s, followed by fellow countryman Jacob Chemtai, with 2h19m12s. Third place went to Teklu Deneke, from Ethiopia, with 2h25m27s.
“It’s the first time I run in Miami. Conditions were good, and I was able to win easily,” claimed Kipsang.
Among the ladies, 42-year-old Kate Landau, from the U.S., won with 2h37m48s.
Isaac Mukundi, another Kenyan participant, won the Half Marathon, beating Dominic Korir, from Uganda, by mere seconds. Both finished at 1h06m51s. Third place was awarded to Fernando Cabada, from Denver, who finished in 1h08m12s.
“It was a hard-fought competition, and humidity affected me strongly, but I persevered. I dedicated my participation to Samuel Wanjiru (the first gold-medalist winner from Kenya), who mentored me,” said Mukundi.
Melania Myrand, from Canada, won the 21K. She was escolted by Rachel Schilkowsky, from Rhode Island, and finally Margarita Quintero Petris, from Mexico.
Along the course, music groups cheered the participants on, alongside other people who stood alongside the roads, holding bells and signs.
“To me, it was interesting to see how many people kept crossing the finishing line even after 7 hours,” said Linzalata, who explained that both the local police force and volunteer groups helped keep control on the roads, with the attending public cheering them on in appreciation of their efforts.