If your alarms go off extra early Sunday, more than 20,000 runners in the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon will be extremely appreciative.
The 26.2-mile trek starts at AmericanAirlines Arena and proceeds through Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and back to downtown Miami for the finish on Biscayne Boulevard near Bayfront Park. Bleachers near the finish are available.
The event, in its 16th year, is scheduled to feature live music and entertainment throughout the course to help push tired muscles and lift spirits. Several community bands, color guards and even some musicians from the New World Symphony are ready to provide motivation.
But there’s nothing like spectators to get participants pumped. Marathon officials suggest that one of the best places to watch is at Mile 11 (Northeast First Avenue and 15th Street) in downtown Miami’s performing arts district. “This cheering zone has easy access from the start line and finish line, allowing you to see runners at all three points of the race,” according to the media guide.
At 15th Street and North Miami Avenue (Mile 12), where you also can watch both the full marathoners and half-marathoners, the Southwest High drumline will provide plenty of rhythmic beats.
Among the other spots to watch, some of which will provide giant “cheer cards” for spectators to write messages to their favorite participants:
▪ End of the MacArthur Causeway at Alton Road in Miami Beach (Mile 4)
▪ Soundscape Park, on 17th Street in Miami Beach near the New World Symphony (Mile 7)
▪ At 829 SW First Ave. in Miami (Mile 14), where the Miami Coral Park Drumline and Color Guard will perform; and at 229 North Miami Ave. (Mile 12 1/2 near the Kids Run Miami start), where the Miami Killian Drumline and Color Guard will perform
▪ CocoWalk on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove (Mile 19), where a DJ will be providing plenty of tunes
▪ Baptist Health Cheer Zone (Mile 15) at 2600 Brickell Ave. (Baptist Medical Plaza)
▪ Fitbit Cheer Zone at Southeast First Avenue and Southeast Second Avenue by Brickell City Centre (Mile 25)