Stuck in New York, Angelica Patino took planes, a train and automobiles to make it back to Miami for Sunday’s half marathon.
And just over 24 hours after the 32-year-old escaped the frozen Northeast, she crossed the Miami Marathon finish line with a new personal best of 1:55:19.
“All my friends keep telling me that should be my new strategy,” Patino said.
Patino had two flights out of New York canceled before she took a train to Boston on Saturday morning. The train, which was delayed two hours, arrived about 90 minutes before her flight. Patino carbo-loaded with pasta at the airport in preparation for the race and then took off for Chicago. After a three-hour delay and a longer flight, Patino arrived in Miami at around 1 a.m. Sunday.
The 19-hour trip left Patino with about three hours to sleep. Compared with her hectic journey Saturday, navigating the Miami course was no trouble.
As other marathon competitors tried to will themselves across the finish line, Jose Antonio Pagan carried the load for two.
Pagan pushed Brett Atwood, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair for the entire 26.2 miles. Pagan, 37, who lives and works as an attorney across the street from the finish line, has competed in two Ironman competitions. But after pushing the 115-pound Atwood for four hours, Pagan said he “felt like 150.”
“It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” Pagan said, and “the most gratifying.”
Pagan and Atwood, 27, were paired through ThumbsUp International, an organization that matches able-bodied and disabled competitors for various races.
The pair narrowly missed its goal of a sub-four hour marathon, coming in at 4:00.51.
Lydia Domenech, Pagan’s wife, also ran her first marathon Sunday and finished in 5:07:36.
Lindsey Scherf, who placed third in Sunday’s half marathon with a time of 1:16:12, ran without a chip on her shoulder. Rather, the electronic chip, developed by Palo Alto-based Lumo Bodytech, fit in the waistband of her specially designed shorts.
The product and accompanying app, Lumo Run, collect a series of data points that measure a runner’s cadence, bounce, ground contact time, braking and pelvic rotation. After each run, the app generates a spider chart.
“I’m excited for [other runners] to find it as useful as I’ve found it to be,” said Scherf, who now works for Lumo Bodytech.
More than 3,000 Miami-Dade County middle school students ran the final 1.2 miles of Sunday’s event to complete a 15-week physical education program.
The collaboration between the school district and the marathon encourages students to work toward goals and prioritize physical fitness, said Dr. Jayne Greenberg, district director for physical education and health literacy.
“The kids are grateful,” Greenberg said. “They never forget this. Once they get their medals, they sleep with their medals. They wear them to school the next week. This is a huge part of their life, and for many of the kids it’s a turning point in their life.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Joey Gibbs knew something was wrong when he reached Mile 14. The 19-year-old push-rim competitor from Ocala signed up for the half marathon, but Gibbs said a staffer pointed him toward the full marathon course when the paths diverged. Gibbs said the error cost him 10 to 15 minutes, and he ended up with an unofficial time of 1:14.
▪ Ricky Arriola, Miami Beach commissioner, finished Sunday’s half marathon in 1:51:29 in a tuneup for February’s Tokyo Marathon.
“I’m biased,” Arriola said, “but I think the truth is the Miami Beach part is the best because it faces the water. It’s along so many historic buildings. To me, it’s the most beautiful part of the race.”
▪ Dennis “Coatman” Marsella, one of the most impressive stunt marathoners in the nation, finished yet another 26.2-miler wearing a coat and holding a tray with a plastic yellow goblet. The 64-year-old from Fort Lauderdale finished Sunday’s race in 4:47:56.
▪ Richard Brodsky, 63, who is HIV positive and has overcome brain cancer, completed the marathon in 4:17:06. His wife, Jodi, also ran the marathon.
▪ Keith Straw’s pink tutu, socks and shirt garner a lot of attention during marathons. The 60-year-old English ex-pat said he has competed in 340, but Sunday marked his first time at the Miami Marathon. His tutu and star-tipped magic wand were big hits with the crowd, and fans called out cheers like, “Et tu, tutu.” Straw, who now lives in Malvern, Pennsylvania, crossed the finish line in 3:19:21.
▪ Before Dr. Thinh Tran, medical director for the Miami Marathon treated runners for dehydration, cramps and twisted ankles, he ran the half marathon in 2:37:16. With this year’s cooler weather, the Baptist Health team saw a reduction in injuries but still treated at least one dislocated shoulder.
▪ Guinness World Record holder Larry Macon finished his fifth Miami Marathon in 6:15:31. The 71-year-old trial lawyer, featured in Friday’s Miami Herald, has completed 1,605 total marathons across the country.
▪ IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan finished Sunday’s half marathon in 1:41:55. Kanaan, who lives in Key Biscayne, won the 2013 Indianapolis 500.