The ING Miami Marathon happens Sunday, Jan. 30, and organizers promise this year’s event won’t repeat the mistakes of 2010.
That’s when volunteers at the Belle Isle water stop used bullhorns to cheer and guide runners crossing the island, waking up some island residents as early as 5:30 a.m. The announcements continued through the morning.
In the aftermath of that race, Venetian Causeway Neighborhood Alliance vice president Barbara K. Bisno and Belle Isle Residents Association President Scott Diffenderfer complained to race organizers that Belle Isle and causeway residents support the event, but the noise was not acceptable.
The mistake won’t be repeated, marathon representative Whitney Murphy promised residents at a meeting last week. Murphy, one of two ING Miami emissaries who attended the Belle Isle Residents Association meeting, said special care will be taken to make sure the race is a better experience on the islands.
Some 22,000 runners for the marathon and half marathon will cross the Venetian Causeway. There will be a water station and Port-O-Lets, once again, on Belle Isle, which is just past the 8-mile mark in the race, Murphy said.
The race course includes two other water stations/bathroom stops on the causeway, one one between San Marino and San Marco islands, and one near the toll booth on Biscayne Island.
The Venetian Causeway will be closed from 6 to 9 a.m. for the race, so residents should plan their Sunday morning schedules around that.
Murphy promised a quick cleanup of water cups and debris from the runners once the last competitor crosses the island around 9:20 a.m. Residents association vice president Josh Fisher complimented the organization for the fast cleanup last year.