Just when you’re tending to your sore hamstrings and ugly blisters after Sunday’s Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, it’s time to look ahead to next year’s event.
The 15th annual race has been set for Jan. 29, 2017, at the same location: a race start outside AmericanAirlines Arena and a finish down the street near Bayfront Park.
“People are already asking what we’re going to do that’s special and different for our 15th anniversary,’’ said Miami Marathon chief running officer Frankie Ruiz, who was still helping to clean up the 26.2-mile course Monday afternoon. “We’re thrilled. I’m tired, just like every year. But the truth is that the feedback I’ve gotten back verbally and through social media has been phenomenal.’’
Organizers said the course change that included two trips over the bridges on the MacArthur Causeway proved successful.
“People seemed to love it,’’ he said. “I heard everything from, ‘It was awesome,’ to ‘Windy, but beautiful.’
“People said it was cool to see the other runners on the opposite side of the bridge. Elite runners are coming back when the rest of the field is still going out. Several people told me that was really neat because they never get to see the rest of the race.’’
The change was necessitated by a construction project on the Venetian Causeway, but Ruiz said officials’ intentions are to “return to the original course’’ if they are able.
Ruiz said conversations are yet to be had with city agencies that will give feedback on the traffic situation with the new course.
“I haven’t heard a resounding ‘What a disaster’ from runners or motorists,’’ Ruiz said.
This year’s event had a combined 17,567 finishers — 14,480 in the half marathon and 3,087 in the full. Registration approached 24,000, not including the 2,200 that signed up for Saturday’s ancillary Tropical 5K, race director Javier Sanchez said Monday.
Last year’s event had 15,905 finishers but only 20,187 registrants.
Ruiz said there was likely attrition because of the snowstorm that hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, but that they couldn’t determine exactly how many people missed the race because of it. He said the perfect weather conditions Sunday brought more people to the starting line and somewhat neutralized the blizzard factor.
“We have no way to know for sure how many people missed the race because of the snow,’’ Sanchez said, “because there are so many reasons people don’t show up for a marathon after registering.’’
Ruiz said the garbage strewn around the course “was somewhat worse than in years past,’’ but that a crew of eight workers were scouring the entire course.
“I always try to leave Miami cleaner than I found it,’’ he said.
He said next year organizers want to “make sure we have drop-off stations throughout the route to better collect garments and excess clothing’’ that get tossed as participants start sweating more.
Officials also are looking into getting more insulated coverings or “blankets’’ as runners call them, the giant silver thermal sheets that drape over their shoulders and look like aluminum foil, helping to prevent participants’ temperatures from dropping too rapidly.
“Who knows? Maybe we’ll have three cool marathons in a row,’’ Ruiz said.
The marathon’s annual “registration blitz” has begun, with entry costs slashed for both distances through Sunday. Cost is $74.50 for the marathon and $65 for the half through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday; $80.50 and $70 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday; and $86.50 and $75 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Costs will rise after that. For information, go to themiamimarathon.com.