Sports

The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon changes its 2020 date to after the Super Bowl

Thousands of runners take to the streets as they participate in the Miami Marathon

Thousands of runners take to the streets as they compete in the 2019 Fitbit Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019.
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Thousands of runners take to the streets as they compete in the 2019 Fitbit Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019.

The Miami Marathon has moved its 2020 date two weeks later than it normally would have been run to prevent obvious logistical problems with the Super Bowl, which will be played at Hard Rock Stadium.

The new Miami Marathon and Half Marathon date: Feb. 9, 2020, exactly one week after the Super Bowl and at the same start and finish on Biscayne Boulevard near AmericanAirlines Arena and Bayfront Park.

The event no longer will be sponsored by Fitbit, which was the title sponsor for 2018 and this past weekend’s 2019 edition that drew more than 20,000 registrants combined for the two main races.

The marathon is owned and produced by Life Time, the Chanhassen, Minnesota-based company that describes itself as the “premier healthy lifestyle’’ brand and operates fitness centers and running/cycling/triathlon events throughout the nation.

Life Time is now deciding whether to become its own title sponsor. The company is in the midst of an expansion in South Florida that will bring a high-end athletic complex to the Gables Station project in Coral Gables. The complex will be called Life Time Village at Gables Station and will encompass an athletic club, work space and apartments.

“Life Time is keeping all sponsorship options on the table,’’ said race co-founder Frankie Ruiz. “As evidenced with this year’s Miami Marathon, Life Time is more committed to the sport of running in Miami than it ever has been.”

This year, the marathon elevated the presence of the Life Time brand with added signage, a hospitality tent for elite athletes and guests, new finish line and start line towers with LED screens and significant operational resources for the recruitment of volunteers and overall production, including at the expo. Additional nutrition for athletes was also added along the route.

Early-bird registration for next year’s marathon weekend is open, and has cut registration costs through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The full marathon until then is $80, the half marathon is $70 and the Tropical 5K is $35. Prices will increase Wednesday to $85 for the marathon and $75 for the half, rising at various points throughout the year.

The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon traditionally is run the last Sunday in January, but next year’s Super Bowl preparations will be in full swing with numerous community events that will last the entire week. South Florida’s hotels will already be filled, and police and other municipal resources that are needed to stage a marathon of this size will be preoccupied with the Super Bowl.

The marathon, which originally was scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020, draws participants from more than 100 countries and is considered among the top destination runs in the nation. For now, Ruiz said race organizers are focusing on 2020. They hope to solidify the 2021 date soon, though it is expected to remain around the same time of year.

The marathon weekend will include the usual health and fitness expo on Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8, likely to stay at Mana Wynwood. The Tropical 5K will be run on Feb. 8, as usual, from Watson Island to the southern tip of South Beach.

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.


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