MIAMI (WSVN) - Thousands of runners from all over the world laced up for the 16th Annual Fitbit Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, Sunday.
The event kicked off at 6 a.m. in front of the American Airlines Amphitheater with over 25,000 runners, walkers and cyclists hitting the streets of Downtown Miami.
“It was fantastic,” said a runner. “The energy coming back into the city, amazing, so thank you, Miami.”
“It was great. The weather was good for jogging,” said another participant as she caught her breath.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was on hand to greet the runners as they headed out. “Showcasing our beautiful city, having 25,000 runners from across the world come to one of the most prestigious marathons globally, it’s just another great opportunity for the City of Miami,” he said.
Some ran alone, while others teamed up and prepped and stepped together. “Training is just amazing when you have people go with you,” said Jen Sheehan from Team Fort Lauderdale. “When you run the past couple of weeks — we’ve been doing 14 miles, 12 miles — it’s just the camaraderie.”
Exhausted runners could be seen crossing the finish line as early as 8 a.m.
Grabbing the gold for the men was Hillary Too from Kenya. “Very excited for winning the race,” he said.
Russia’s Luba Eenisova took the marathon’s top prize for the women. “I’m happy because I won,” she said.
And despite all the training for time, some selfless marathoners dropped everything to pick up a fellow runner struggling down the stretch in the ultimate show of sportsmanship.
Some famous faces also took part in the event. Grammy-winning singer Prince Royce ran the half marathon after running in Saturday’s warm-up event. Royce also serves as the marathon’s grand marshal.
Comedian Kevin Hart was also rumored to have participated.
New and lifelong athletes made the run to the finish line after preparing for months. When they were done pounding the pavement for all those Miami miles, runners new and old said it was worthwhile.
When asked whether she will sign up again for another marathon in Miami, Sheehan replied, “Definitely, yeah.”
After all that training, sweat and even some selfies, these runners are ready to relax.
Race officials told 7News there were heavy traffic delays along the route until around 2 p.m.
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