Miami Marathons & Triathlons

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By: Jennifer Agress

With its palm-lined promenades and sunny days, Miami is a top destination for outdoor racing—especially endurance racing. While smaller 5Ks and walks happen almost every weekend in Miami, there are a handful of major racing events that attract runners, bikers, walkers and swimmers from all over the world. From marathons and road races to triathlons and open swimming competitions, read below to find out about the Miami races that both beginning and experienced athletes love.

Miami Marathon and Half Marathon

There’s no doubt about it: the Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon is Miami’s biggest endurance event of the year. Taking place every January in Downtown Miami, this annual event attracts over 25,000 people (of all skill levels) from around the world. Whether participants choose to do the 13.1-mile half marathon or the 26.2-mile marathon, the race starts at AmericanAirlines Arena, the home of the Miami HEAT, and wind its way through some of the best parts of Miami. Runners pass by cruise ships in Biscayne Bay, cross MacArthur Causeway to South Beach, and run in and around the beautiful neighborhoods of Brickell, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne before finishing at Bayfront Park. This race uses a single-loop, USA Track & Field-certified course that’s regarded as a Boston qualifier.

But this event isn’t just for the runners! It’s for their family and friends, too. Adding to the fun and excitement of the day, fans and supporters line the route with signs, cheers, drums, pots and pans and more. And when the race ends, the fun continues. Every participant will get a custom Finisher’s Medal, a t-shirt, a goody-bag and access to the post-race “Finish Festival,” where there is food, beer, live music, entertainment and more.

Escape to Miami Triathlon

This over-the-top race is as “Miami” as it gets. Taking place at Downtown Miami’s Margaret Pace Park every October, the Escape to Miami Triathlon caps out at 1,750 athletes. All participants depart on a ferry to “Escape Island,” where they engage in a race that fuses running, swimming and biking with themed live music, tiki torches and, of course, Miami’s beautiful tropical views.

To kick off the race, participants swim back to mainland Miami to Margaret Pace Park, where they hop on a bicycle and pedal their way to Miami Beach and in and around the artsy Wynwood neighborhood. The final leg of the course, the running portion, includes a jaunt past The Adrienne Arsht Center, the former Miami Herald building, cruise ship row, Star Island and more. This race includes both International (0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) and Sprint (0.25-mile swim, 13-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) distances.

South Beach Triathlon
South Beach Triathlon

South Beach Triathlon

Every April, the South Beach Triathlon takes athletes on a course along, you guessed it, the shores of South Beach. Participants start by swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, biking across South Beach’s scenic causeways and running through its nationally recognized Art Deco Historic District. This race includes both International (.93-mile swim, 24.25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) and Classic Course (.47-mile swim, 20.7-mile bike, 4-mile run) distances.

Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run

The Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, which benefits both individual runners and workplaces alike, is one of the most popular 5Ks in the city. Dubbed “Downtown Miami’s Largest Office Party,” it’s not uncommon to see entire companies or departments come down after work for a little exercise, team bonding and, most importantly, fun! Taking place every April, this 3.1-mile walk/run starts at Bayfront Park and is open to all part-time and full-time employees. Making it extra fun, offices (or “teams”) are eligible to win prizes in 18 different categories, as well as a race-wide t-shirt contest. This charitable race is the third largest 5K in the entire United States, and because of its popularity, it raises over a million dollars for local charities every year.

Swim Miami

Regarded as the longest-standing open-water swim on the east coast of the United States, this April the annual Swim Miami event lets swimmers pick the length of their challenge: 800 meters, one mile, 5K and 10K. Don’t want to race on your own? Bring your dog and compete in the K-9 Krawl World Championships, where both dog and owner can compete against other dog-owner pairs in a 200-yard swim and 400-yard run. The event takes place at Miami Marine Stadium, on Rickenbacker Causeway.

305 Half Marathon & 5K

Ready to go sightseeing in Miami and Miami Beach? Do it on a run! This March, the 305 Half Marathon & 5K invites 3,000+ runners to race on a fun, scenic course along Miami Beach’s beautiful waterways. There are live bands and dancers throughout the race, and once they cross the finish line, there’s a huge party with Latin food and, of course, beer. This race starts on Ocean Drive.

More than Pink Walk®

Every October, Miami joins countless cities across the world and hosts a walk/run in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This race, part of the Susan G. Komen More than Pink Walk® Series, is the world’s largest, most successful fundraising and educational event for breast cancer. In Miami, the event starts at Bayfront Park and winds its way through Downtown Miami, before ending with a huge celebration right back where it started. If you plan to participate, you better dress the part! (In other words, wear LOTS of pink.)

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