Many Ways to Run a Marathon: An Inspiring Photo Essay from Miami

Celebrating a Great Run

This team is celebratng a great run in the Miami Marathon.
This team is celebratng a great run in the Miami Marathon. | Source

Catching the Marathon on Camera

I drove down to Miami (about an hour and a half south of my home) to catch photos of the Marathon in January 2013. I'd been ill for several years. In fact, less than two years ago, I nearly lost my leg. So marathoning isn't for me. But I did walk five miles that day - a longer distance than I've been able to walk in half a decade - and I enjoyed it.

It was inspiring to be around so many ordinary people achieving so much. And the fun started as soon as I got out of my car. This team was celebrating a successful run as they climbed into their mini-van to go home, in the same parking lot where I was starting my adventure.

Running Isn't for Everyone

So I was walking, and this fellow was on his bicycle. Running isn't for everyone. My wife has bad knees and cycles to work every day. Running, walking, biking, or swimming, it's great to be outdoors and moving under our own power. What's your favorite way of getting around?

Some prefer bikes!
Some prefer bikes! | Source

How Do You Get Around?

What is your favorite form of self-powered outdoor locomotion?

  • I like to swim.
  • I ride my bicycle.
  • I'll run - for the short haul.
  • I could do a half-marathon.
  • I'm a marathoner!
  • Skiing, skating, snowboarding. Gimme the white powder!
  • Motion? No thanks! I'll lie on the beach.
  • Outdoors? You've got to be kidding. And where's the remote?
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Drumming Up Some Enthusiasm

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The half-marathoners and marathoners got a bit of support at the end of their journey. Drummers from marching bands lined the roads in the last mile. Just as drummer kept armies marching in olden days, now they encourage health enthusiasts to pick up the pace on the way to the finish line.

I caught several groups of drummer. Some didn't offer much energy. But this band was into the swing of things!

Walking It In

By the time my camera and I got close to the end of the race, many of the slower half-marathoners were crossing the finish line. These three gentlemen were walking it in, and the fellow in the middle seems to be in a bit of pain.

Half-marathon? Thirteen miles is nothing to sneeze at - even walking.

Marathoners Come in All Sizes and Colors

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The woman on the right celebrates her half-marathon with a big grin and a hug from a friend. I tend to think runners are skinny white guys. But in Miami, they come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and from all over the world.

Come to think of it, the heavier the marathoner, the more impressive that she was able to make the run!

Picking Up the Pace

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I saw this woman slowing to a walk, and called encouraging words to her. Many others were yelling "You can do it" rather harshly. I was more gentle. I let her know she was close to her goal and could run to the finish line.

Sure enough, a little encouragement goes a long way. She picked up the pace.

She loves to run, and I love being a life coach!

Finishing in Style

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Different Strokes for Different Folks

At the end of thirteen miles, I'd probably be crawling.

The fellow in the first photo is toughing it out.

The second woman is showing some style. She's driving to finish with some good energy and a nice pace.

And the third guy - well - He's just bopping along to the music.

The world needs all types of people - and it seems they all show up to run!

Potassium, Anyone?

Marathoners can easily get cramps if their mineral balance goes off. Eating a good balance of calcium and potassium is key. The woman below, Daniela, clearly knows this. She's finished her run, and now she's going bananas.

Bananas are a great source of potassium!

Here are some links to keep you happily hydrated when you run:

I'm a big fan of coconut water, myself. I drink 1/3 coconut water and 2/3 plain water and feel great, even on a hot day on the beach. In Brazil, coconut water keeps party-goers dancing all night!

Going Bananas!

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How Quickly It's Over!

These folks have just finished their marathon and - Pow! - Out come the cell phones. Life is back to its busy, chattering, noisy norm.

If they weren't wearing numbers on their chests, you'd never know they'd been out for a run!

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Not Your Usual Marathoners

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Rolling to Victory

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It Doesn't take Legs to Run a Marathon

It doesn't take legs to run a marathon . . . just guts and heart.

These men were celebrating their victories in the wheelchair diviision.

On the right, you'll see a close-up showing the youngest as the men's championship winner. His friends insisted I take this photo to share his success.

Now I have to start to reconsider. It can't be an injured leg that's keeping me from running. Why don't I give this a try to celebrate my return to health?

An International Event

Like most major marathons - perhaps even more so, because Miami is a portal to Central and South America, the Miami Marathon is an international event. They had a stand with flags from every nation where participants came from. Early on, the winners held the flag of their country.

Later on, the flags are still there, and friends gather with runners from all over the world bearing their flag and smiling over their success. This young man's friends encouraged him to stand on the podium with the flag of the Dominican Republic.

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A Quiet Run

I interviewed the guy on the right. His name is Hoby. He's an unusual runner. He did the half-marathon in good time, but races aren't his thing. He prefers to run alone at night. He says that running is meditation for him. He likes the quiet. And he says that if he starts a run with a problem, the problem is solved, or simply gone, by the end of the run.

If you want to hear the story of another unusual marathoner - and meditator - you can read about my friend Steve Joseph, who went from couch potato to marathoner in two years - without even planning to do it.

Pain and Care

Walking back to the car, I watched this young woman. She was limping slightly and in pain. I couldn't hear their words, but I could tell her mother was very encouraging.

Even though she was hurting, she was still taking care of herself. She saw me and tried to smile as I caught this photo of her stretching down - a good thing to do after any run, especially a half-marathon or marathon!

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I'm Inspired!

I'm inspired, and I hope you are, too.

I'm not inspired to run a marathon. I enjoy swimming in the ocean a great deal more. But I am inspired to walk a mile a day and to go to the beach one to three times a week.

Like Hoby, I like to exercise alone outdoors, and I find it a type of meditation.

But this photo shoot changed me. I feel like I want to be less of a loaner. Hanging out with like-minded people has wonderful energy. Camaraderie and charity are part of the world of marathons, too.

Who knows, maybe there's a triathlon in my future!

What Inspired You?

Which of the images inspired you?

  • Seeing folks finish their run
  • The wheelchair marathoners
  • You don't have to be skinny to run!
  • Faces of all colors from all places all over the world
  • All of the above
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Comments 12 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Glad you were able to walk that day. Please count the cost of running again. You did a terrific job of reporting and capturing images. Voted for wheelchair marathoners.


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thanks, Ms. Dora. Your comments are very encouraging. I'm not sure what you mean by "please count the cost of running again"? Whether I run or swim, though, I'll be out there!


KrisL profile image

KrisL 3 years ago from S. Florida

I love this hub . . . you make it so clear that serious exercise is not for some mythical athletic elite, but for all of us!


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thanks, KrisL - yes, serious exercise can be ordinary fun!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

The title got my attention so I had to read on. I have written one hub about overcoming adversity which is why I was moved to read your article. It is amazing the strength of spirit that individuals can show even when it seems most unlikely.

thank you for sharing this...an uplifting read for this evening

Sending Angels your way :) ps


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thanks, PStraubie. I think one major benefit of HubPages is the chance to read so many stories of success through adversity. Angels to all of us!


Mike Marks profile image

Mike Marks 3 years ago

I only ran one marathon in my life, the nyc marathon of 1991, I wanted to demonstrate to myself that the seemingly impossible could be achieved, at that time for the nyc marathon sign-up was on mother's day so I began training on mother's day and was good to go by the day of the race in Nov... not really such a long amount of time to reach the level, I was 34 years old at the time... when I first went to train at the Central Park resevoir there were people in their 70's running rings around me and that inspired me... "it's not how many years you've been alive, it's how many years you've been beating yourself up" one older gent advised me about fitness... one of my trainers told me, "at first you'll see a tree and want to make it to that tree, then you'll see another tree and want to make it to that tree, but when you get to the runner's high, which some folks equate to the zen high, then all the trees are just green" and I realized that truth the afternoon I passed an old friend while doing laps and he asked me how many laps I did and I had no idea I realized I had stopped counting... man I reckon I could go on and on with this til my comment is as long as the hub, maybe I'll write a hub... I'll tell ya about that last mile first though, I was tired, I was running slow, I was out of gas, then that last mile the road was thickly covered with folks cheering us on, and they filled me, the tiredness dropped off me, my legs started moving faster, I picked up speed and ran freely like a living dream of being beyond the physics of this world and I passed the finish line and then magnificent tears warm and full from the depths of my body and gratitude and I was One


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thanks, Mike, for your beautiful story of Victory. The state of Oneness we achieve in any endeavor (be it a marathon or a Zen intensive) is indeed an important life experience. It begins to show us how powerful and wonderful we truly are. Please keep sharing!


LoisRyan13903 profile image

LoisRyan13903 3 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

Excellent Hub. I was in high school and college and did cross country, 1500 and 3000. I did some longer road races 10K and one time a 20k. Now I can't even run a block without getting tired. I liked the image of the guys in the wheel chairs. It reminds me of the Wounded Warriors softball team


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thanks, Lois. I hope you find exercise you enjoy and work your way back up to being really fit. I'm recovering from severe illness, and I just started riding my bike again yesterday. It's great!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Suxh a wonderful creation Sid and thank you so very mcuh for sharing. Voted up.

Eddy.


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) Author

Thank you, Eddy. We inspire each other in such different ways!

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