Road workers have smoothed out a path on the pock-marked Venetian Causeway. The Port-a-potties are being placed at strategic spots near water stations on Belle Isle and San Marino Island.
The runners are streaming to the Miami Beach Convention Center to pick up their race numbers and get some last-minute inspiration at the fitness expo.
It’s Miami Marathon weekend.
For Venetian Island residents, we know that means a mix of spectacle and inconvenience.
So here’s what we should keep in mind to avoid the hassles and have some fun:
— Expect slightly heavier than usual Venetian Causeway traffic early Saturday. Marathon weekend includes the Tropical 5K, a five-kilometer run that starts on Watson Island on MacArthur Causeway and ends in South Pointe Park and Nikki Beach. Finishers party then get bussed back to their cars. Disruptions on the MacArthur between 6:30 and 9:30 a.m. (race start is 7:30 a.m.) could mean more traffic on the Venetian Saturday morning.
— Sunday morning, the marathon really takes over the islands. The marathon starts at 6 a.m. on Biscayne Boulevard in front of American Airlines Arena, crosses the MacArthur, snakes through South Beach and then returns west over the Venetian Causeway. Belle Isle is roughly Mile 8. The elite runners will pass around 6:30 a.m., and by 7:30 a.m., Venetian Way will look like a giant Conga Line of marathoners. It will stay that way for at least an hour.
— It’s a great opportunity to cheer weekend warriors. Watching the race is like seeing a parade of humanity. The runners are inspiring and amusing and enthusiastic. And they draw strength from a crowd. You can help them achieve their goals.
— If you need to leave Belle Isle on island Sunday morning, walking is the best way. A bike is second-best. By car, you can only go east, and it won’t be easy. You best be is to stay put until about 10 a.m.
Team Blog will be out there taking photos, and we’ll get them posted as early as we can on Sunday morning.
Enjoy the race!