The 2013 ING Marathon and half-marathon — the huge community event that brings 25,000 runners across the Belle Isle and the Venetian Causeway — returns in one week, on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Ask the runners, and most will tell you that the Venetian Causeway crossing is the most beautiful stretch of the race.
The organizers delivered marathon hangers to Venetian Isle homeowners earlier this week, to make sure we’re prepared for the Sunday morning traffic disruptions and know when to get out and cheer. Later this week, we’ll see portable toilets and other necessities moved into place.
The marathon 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. Event manager Whitney Murphy promises all you’ll hear are the footfalls of runners, and our islands will be cleaned up by afternoon.
Here’s some Belle Isle Blog advice on how to make the best of the event:
– Get out and cheer the runners. The race starts at 6:05 a.m. for wheelchair competitors and 6:15 a.m. for runners. We’ll see the leaders pass Belle Isle (mile 8) 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. Make signs to motivate the runners. Your enthusiasm 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. Here’s a look at last year’s coverage.