Get ready! The ING Marathon is heading for the Venetian islands

We begin the one-week countdown to the ING Miami Marathon.

A week from now, thousands of runners — as many as 25,000 based on the record number of registrants — will be crossing Belle Isle on Venetian Way on Mile 8 of their 13.1 or 26.2 mile journey.

It’s a great event that showcases our islands.

The event brings money and visitors to the community, and the group that runs it works hard to ensure it isn’t too disruptive on Sunday morning.

Whitney Murphy, the event manager, made a point of attending last week’s Belle Isle Residents Association meeting to hear from residents and assure them the island will be cleaned up and cleared as quickly as possible. She also said noise — which was a problem a couple of marathons back — will be kept to a minimum.

Belle Isle Blog thinks the good from the marathon vastly outweighs the hassle, and offers these tips to prepare for Sunday morning, Jan. 29:

— Get out and cheer the runners. The leaders will pass our island around 6:30 a.m., and we’ll see people who have trained for months crossing until 9:30 or 10 a.m. They range from elite athletes to average folks who committed to goal and are on their way to achieving it. Your cheers will help lift them to success.

— Plan your morning around the race. From about 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., you’ll only be able to go east on Venetian Way by car, and quite slowly. If you want to go to breakfast, you might want to walk. That way, you can cheer the runners as you go along. IF you HAVE to go to the mainland in the morning, plan to ease your way east on Venetian Way, then south on West Avenue, and east on the MacArthur Causeway, where westbound lanes will be open.

There are several key water stations on the Venetian Causeway leg of the route, one on Belle Isle (mile 8),  San Marco Island (mile 9) and Biscayne Island (Mile 10)

Enjoy the race . Belle Isle Blog will be taking photos of the runners from our island, and promises to post them on the site as early as possible Sunday morning.

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