The Miami Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event spanning the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, Florida, as well as the county of Miami-Dade. With its inaugural race on February 2, 2003, the Miami Marathon has been one of the fastest-growing annual marathons, attracting world-class distance runners.
Life Time Fitness produces this event with the goal of bringing world-class marathoning to South Florida.
The Miami Marathon is open to all runners, male and female, from any nation, and is an official Boston Marathon qualifier.
The 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) race is typically run on the last Sunday in late January or the first Sunday in early February, at approximately 6:10am. The Miami Half Marathon, a 21.075-kilometre (13.095 mi) race, is started concurrently. A wheelchair division of the marathon begins 5–10 minutes before the footrace.
Celebrities or local politicians typically start the race. The legendary Frank Shorter, Olympic marathon gold medalist in 1972, and Ryan Hall, winner of the 2008 United States Olympic Trials, have been given this honor.
Beginning on Biscayne Boulevard next to the American Airlines Arena (home of the Miami Heat), the course takes runners eastbound on the MacArthur Causeway, past cruise ships docked at the Port of Miami, to South Beach. From there, competitors travel northbound along the famous Ocean Drive, through the City of Miami Beach, and then westbound along the Venetian Causeway and back to the mainland and the City of Miami. Here, the Miami Half Marathon finishes and the full marathon continues southbound through the financial district, Brickell, into Coconut Grove, out the Rickenbacker Causeway towards Key Biscayne, and then back through Brickell and downtown Miami to complete the 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi) at Bayfront Park.
The race has been growing over the years. In 2010, 18,321 runners took part in the combined races. For the 10 year anniversary in 2012 the race sold out at 25,000 runners and has continued to reach that number of participants since.
The average temperature at the start of the race for the years 2003-2007 was 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit (17.4 degrees Celsius).
Through partnership with Achilles International the Miami Marathon host a division for athletes with disabilities. Sub-divisions include push-rim and hand crank wheelchairs. In 2014 Maickel Melamed, who has muscular dystrophy, finished the race in just under seven hours. He began his race at 4:00am accompanied by his team and a police escort.
Prior to the establishment of the Miami Marathon the Orange Bowl Marathon had been run in Miami in the late seventies and eighties. Originally the race had started and finished in the Orange Bowl stadium but after issues with the course the start and finish moved to the Crandon Park. The marathon was never as popular as other races in the racing calendar and had trouble attracting athletes. Eventually financial problems caused the event fold.
Miami Marathon 2003-
Orange Bowl Marathon 1978-1988