"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Running South Beach

Miami Beach is not a destination where I would necessarily ever go on purpose.  So when the opportunity, through a layover at MIA en route to Brazil, came my way, I had the shoes packed and took advantage of a beautiful, sunny Sunday late afternoon to experience not only the sights and sounds of South Beach, but to get a few good miles in along the way.  The following "Travel Trail" will have you ready to run Miami!

First, traffic!  I had no idea of the one (maybe there were two) bridge in and out situation that awaited me as I drove over to Miami Beach.  Ultimately, it wasn't too bad being a late Sunday afternoon in March, but I can imagine that it is at least this bad year-round and possibly even worse at certain times.  Be patient, and once you make it to the streets of Miami Beach, specifically Collins Avenue / AIA, there will be NO parking.  You are better off finding the first valet guy for $15 or $20 and start out from there.  At no spot will you be more than a half mile off the beach and the walk will serve as a warm up. 

I had decided to go to the Southern-most tip of the beach to start out.  Again, I had no idea if this was a run along the water, on a boardwalk, in the street or what.  As I surveyed the situation, I quickly learned that there is no running on the beach, at least at high tide.  With a million people and a deep sand, forget it.  However, there was an even better situation for us runners.  In the pictures below you see the phases of the run that make up a 7.5 mile out and back.  The first mile is packed sand / gravel, the second mile and 1/4 is paved beachwalk, and the final mile and a half is a great boardwalk. (Note, the boardwalk provides the only real view of the ocean). 
Start of Run - 1 Mile of Soft

Mid-section of Run - 1.25 Mile of Hard

Final Leg - 1.5 Mile of Medium
So, in short, you get an equal distance soft, medium and hard surface trail.  You also get all the steel drums and techno-electro-keyboard-hip-hop-fusion music that you could ever possibly want.  An extremely diverse beach scene and the occassional ritzy wedding party to observe.  Initially, as I started up the sand section of the trail, I was quickly becoming very disappointed.  I could have captured this view running the deer leases of South Texas.  But as I made my way through the various sections of this continuous path, stopping to turn around on the boardwalk, I thought about what a great run this had turned into.  I highly recommend it and will have the actual route posted on "Dave's Travel Trail" page very soon. 

Click on map to enlarge
(max elevation 153’ - min elevation 12’ : Gain of 436’)

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