Life Time Miami Marathon delivers another successful running. Organizers announce 2024 date


The massive undertaking known as the Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon had another successful running Sunday and already has announced its 2024 date.

Runners, take your mark — markers, that is — and circle Sunday, Jan. 28 on next year’s calendar.

Event co-founder and Life Time chief running officer Frankie Ruiz said it’s still obviously early in the 2024 event’s planning, and that organizers must analyze data to determine if the race will be expanded to allow more participants. Sunday’s event was limited to 18,000 registrants, an increase of 3,000 from 2022.

Soon-to-begin construction to the on-ramp of the MacArthur Causeway will play a part in how organizers make their decisions on everything from size of the field to possible changes in the starting-corral operation the course itself. The marathon begins outside the Miami-Dade Arena on Biscayne Boulevard and ends a few blocks down the street adjacent to Bayfront Park.

Ruiz was asked about the progression of the event from its first running in 2003 to now.

“When we first started the race, there was a lot of education of what a marathon is and what is expected of the city and police and fire and all the different entities or agencies we have to work with,’’ he said. “Now it’s more like, ‘Oh yeah, the marathon. We know what to do — we got it.’ It’s a lot of the same faces, a lot of the same people we’ve worked with throughout the years. So that makes it, I don’t want to say easier because it doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it just functions more smoothly.

“The operations and the way the city handles everything from traffic maintenance to cleanup to even getting the word out in communicating about everything. It just seems to be a little more seamless and almost like second nature to the city.

“Our city has evolved into being a great big-event host. We see it with F1 and super bowls and all the other major events we put on. So I’ve got to say that I’m less nervous about our city’s ability to accommodate a big-scale event like the marathon — but no less proud.”

More marathon news

Registration for 2024, open this past weekend at a reduced rate during the marathon expo, is now $140 for the marathon and $125 for the half marathon. Ruiz said that once the race reaches 2,500 registrants, registration will be closed through a “soon-to-be announced date in late spring.’’ At that point, registration will reopen, but likely at an increased rate. More than 700 registered at the expo.

Given the nature of a 26.2-mile event, especially one in steamy South Florida that draws thousands of runners from cold climates, several runners are transported yearly to local hospital with everything from cuts and broken bones after falling to heart attacks and heat exhaustion. This year, Ruiz said there were 14 participants transported to local hospital, including at least one that was cardiac related.

Temperatures mostly hovered in the high 70s Sunday, with the race starting at 74 degrees with 74 percent humidity.

Though a giant tented medical complex is set up yearly near the finish line, and doctors and medical personnel are stationed throughout the course, organizers are considering creating “sort of a mini medical triage tent somewhere between Miles 11 and 12” after participants have exited the Venetian Causeway, Ruiz said. “For whatever reason, from a medical standpoint, things were happening between Miles 10 and 11. It could be either because the sun was at their backs, so you definitely were more exposed, or just maybe the highs of being in that scenery of the bridge — like they came down a bit.

“So, instead of putting them in an ambulance, maybe some of those folks just need some ice or a place to cool down and be monitored.‘’

New York City Marathon race director Ted Metellus, 49, who two years ago became the first Black race director of any major marathon in the world, competed in Sunday’s half marathon, finishing in 2:33:20.