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ING Miami Half Marathon

by Meghann on January 30, 2011

Miami Half Marathon? Check!


Three Andersons. Three Medals. One kick butt race.

Running is now officially a family affair. πŸ˜‰

Why do I keep picking races that start at 6:00am? I’m convinced it’s a Florida thing. I need to start racing more out of state asap.

We were up at – wait for it – 3:40 this morning. Ughh… Want to know the strange part? My twin brother – the only one not racing – was the first one to pop to the alarm and run around the apartment waking everyone else up. I think he took crazy pills….


FIVE runner + THREE spectators = We had to build in extra time into out morning to toast bagels. πŸ˜‰

I had a pumpernickel bagel. Half with honey peanut butter and half with butter. Both sides with fresh strawberries. πŸ™‚


It helped that we were staying with a semi-local (my brother) because he was able to navigate the parking situation this morning. We gave ourselves plenty of time and ended up finding a spot in a parking garage within walking distance of the start. Plus 1 for us!


I was worried when we were leaving the apartment and I realized both my Garmin and iPod were dead. Total rookie mistake – ALWAYS check your electronics the night before a race! After a slight panic I brought the chargers in the car and was able to get just enough juice in both to last the entire race. At least I realized it in the apartment and not at the starting line. Plus 2 for us!


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The start was CRAZY. 21,000 people swarmed downtown Miami and took over.


Luckily 21,000+ people meant their corral system completely fell in on itself. Bad for people who were actually racing this race for time. Good for those of us who wanted to all stick together. πŸ™‚


We decided a few weeks ago to run in pairs. I would run with my little brother Ben to try and push him to a sub-2:00 half and Kelly was running with Derek to set a new PR of anything under 2:19. Megan’s plan was use this race as a training run for her ultimate goal of obtaining a 1:45 half in the spring.


At 6:05 the wheelchairs were released.

At 6:15 the elites began the race.

At 6:25 it was our turn to own the streets of Miami.


Look out Miami! We’re comin’ atcha!


The beginning of the race was crowded and slow. It took us over seven minutes to cross the startling and ten minutes for our first mile. There was a lot of weaving through the crowds and a lot of dodging of cones and walkers.

They also present you with your first bridge of the race about half a mile into the course. The bridge itself was about a mile long and only had a steep incline towards the beginning. It was narrow and crowded, but the views were gorgeous. We ran by the cruise terminal and Ben and I started chatting about which of the ships in port we had been on (can you believe we had been on two?) and when our next cruise will be. I now have a deep desire to go on another cruise in the very near future. πŸ™‚

My parents had told us they would try to find us around mile 5, so Ben and I were both pleasantly surprised when we took our first turn off of the bridge and spotted our family at 3.5.


Obviously it was a nice surprise. πŸ™‚




Passed the bridge we were on our way to South Beach for my favorite part of the run.



There’s something exciting about running along a road as iconic as Ocean Drive. You have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on one side and gorgeous art deco buildings on another. I loved every minute of it.


Running along Ocean Drive took us through mile 5. After that we headed to central South Beach and eventually made out way past Lincoln Road and the convention center.

Ben was doing great at the point. He had to keep warning me to slow down, but I was only speeding up because I knew he could handle it. Ben is a strong runner, he just needs to remember that. πŸ™‚


My parents didn’t mention anything about seeing us anymore along the course, but I was secretly hoping we would spot them another time before we left South Beach.

Sure enough, just past Mile 8 Ben told me he could see Dad in the distance.


So obviously he began taking his shirt off…


Oh, Ben. I guess if you’e got a system down, you shouldn’t mess with it. Right?


I should probably mention the weather for the half was AMAZING! We had a low of 54 at the start and a high of 59 when we finished. Not only that, we had beautiful sunshine and a nice cool breeze to go with it. I would say those are my ideal racing temps. πŸ™‚


Mile 8 was our last in South Beach. After that we hit a series of bridges and island hopped as we made our way back to the mainland.


Ben was still holding his own and had even gained a little speed along the way. I kept waiting for him to sprint right past me.



We made our way back to Miami with less than two miles to go and e hit a large group of spectators that stretched for a quarter of a mile. The line of spectators reminded me of Chicago. It’s hard not to be pumped when encountering a large group of spectators. All you can do is pump your fist and smile. πŸ™‚

The closer we got to the end, the more I kept waiting for Ben to sprint ahead of me, but he never did. His stomach started cramping and he was starting to hurt. I pulled out ahead and threw everything I could at him to push him to finish strong. He was hugging his side, but I knew he was going to finish.

We turned corner after corner and with less than a half of a mile to go, the race began to divide for half marathoners and full marathoners. We were so close and according to my Garmin if we gave it all we had we were going to meet his goal.

Half Mile to go…

800 yrds to go…

400 yrds to go…

I grabbed Ben’s hand and we sprinted hard.


Official Time 02:00:04 !!!!


That’s a full 11 minutes off of his previous PR! He rocked it and should be so proud!




Victory was ours!

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Of course, leaving any finish line is a challenge. Especially in a big race like this.


#Race Tip: If you are running a big race have a designated meeting place afterwards or if all else fails go to the family reunion area and hang tight.


It took longer than expected, but eventually we were all safely reunited. πŸ™‚


Be sure to check out Kelly and Megan’s recaps on their blogs to see how they did!


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And Derek ROCKED it!


He finished in 02:23:?? and ran with a smile. πŸ™‚


I <3 this man!

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Meals and Miles Represent! πŸ˜‰


The group headed to Sergio’s for a post-race celebration of FOOD! πŸ™‚



Megan, Kelly, and I split the Miami and American (minus the bacon) Tortillas (cuban omelets)


We all agreed the Miami omelet was our favorite of the two. The plantains gave the tortilla a nice sweet touch.


A couple of showers and sprays of body spray later, seven of us piled pack in the SUV for the 4 hour drive home. Booo.

After a quick stop to Whole Foods first, of course. πŸ˜‰


Ben and I somehow skipped the collection of post-race snacks in the finish line area and in the process missed out on all the Publix chocolate chip cookies I spotted in everyone’s hands. πŸ™ From then on I was determined to get a cookie! Luckily, a Whole Foods just happened to be on our way out of town.


The Everything Cookie definitely hit the spot. πŸ˜‰

I also had an Apple on the road.


We’re less than 50 miles away from home. Just enough time to squeeze a nap in.

See ya in Orlando!

1 Kayla January 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Great job:) It looked like a really beautiful run! I really feel inspired and motivated to do a half marathon this year too! Any races that you will recommend?

2 Ali @ Ali on the Run January 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Congratulations to all of you! I love the family support system you’ve all got going.

I’ve been wanting to run the Miami half because the course looks so amazing. That early start time scares me, but your pictures make it seem worth it. Congrats to all on an awesome day. Bunch of rock stars in the Meals & Miles crew!
Ali @ Ali on the Run recently posted..The Best Weekend Ever

3 Kristy @ KristyRuns January 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Whoo hoooo! Congrats to everyone! Looks like an awesome day and amazing weather! πŸ™‚ Love the post-race yoga moves.
Kristy @ KristyRuns recently posted..Hot Yoga Love

4 rebecca lustig January 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

wow what a great recap! i always love your post-race posts, they’re so uplifting and inspiring.

congrats to all of you!

5 Freya January 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Great recap and congrats to all of you! You’re so lucky to have so many people around you who love running that much – I’m yet to find just one running buddy :'(
LOVE those yoga pose photos – I just went into my hall to go and see if I could do them :p (no)
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6 Allison @ PickyEatingRD January 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Yay congrats!!! Seems like such a fun race!!!
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7 Jess (Daly Authenticity) January 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Congrats on another great race Meghann! That first picture of you and Derek is priceless. You guys seem so in love!
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8 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Love reading your race recaps!! Congrats to everyone. Sounds like such a fun time. πŸ™‚
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9 Heather C January 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Congratulations!! Way to go!

PS – I love that first photo of you and Derek, SO cute!

10 Dori January 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Congrats to you and Derek and your family! I LOVE that picture of you and Derek, it looks professional and you both look gorgeous. You would never believe you both just ran a half marathon. Definitely frame that one.
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11 Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

CONGRATS!!! Looks like an amazing race!!
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12 Gill (snaxandthecity) January 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm

congrats! looks like you all did so well! you and derek are super cute too πŸ™‚
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13 Emily @ Savory and Savage January 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Congratulations to everyone! You looked like you had a great time and I am sure having so many loved ones there to share it with you made it even better πŸ™‚

Your running skirt is adorable – I have been looking for something like that for my runs.
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14 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) January 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Looks like a great family trip/run! Congrats to all of you.
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15 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. January 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Congrats all around! Y’all did fabulous!
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16 Ashley January 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Congratulations Anderson family+Derek!! You all are amazing. I love that the shirt came off. Did he get crazy chafing from the pouch??
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17 Raya January 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Your Miami posts are really making me miss the beach!! Looks like you guys had an awesome time!! I hope one day I can be in the sub-2 hr half marathon! I’ve got a long ways to go though!
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18 Ann January 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm

That looks like it was a fun race! So many people, I can’t imagine! I love how you look so happy in all the pictures of you running. This made me really excited about my upcoming first half marathon. Congratulations!
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19 Heather January 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

congrats!!!! yall did great and the weather looks so awesome!!! Looks like such a beautiful race course! Love all the pics at the end yall took!
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20 MaryBe January 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Congrats to all you awesome racers! And yay for loyal spectators

21 Krissy - Shiawase Life January 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Great recap! This looks like a race I would like to try one day!
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22 Kathleen January 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Huge congrats to all of you! What a great way to celebrate health and family at the same time. Very inspiring.
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23 Allison @ OneWhiteTulip January 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Congrats guys!

(and MAJOR props for the side crow! Haha.)
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24 Evan Thomas January 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Congrats to all the runners! The Andersons(and Russells) are one kick-butt family.

25 Shannon @ Freshman Yr of Life January 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Awesome recap! Congrats you racing machine.
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26 Jamie @ Food in Real Life January 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

What a great recap! Really captured the excitement of the race from start to finish. Got me so pumped for my half in March- woohoo! Congrats to you and your fam and friends πŸ™‚
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27 maria @ Chasing the Now January 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Sounds like a great race and a lot of family memories were made! πŸ™‚ Congrats on your time, too!
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28 RunningOnCoffee January 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Congrats! Great recap and great job all!! How fun to run a race with so many people you know. I love the first few pics of you and your brother around mile 3.5, makes me excited for my next half in April.

50s are definitely my ideal racing temps too! I’d even be ok in the 40s. My first half marathon last April was around 50F; my second one in September was in the mid 70s (blah!).

FL races are definitely early!! Must be to avoid the heat??
PA & NJ races I’ve done have started more like 8/8:30. I wouldn’t mind a slightly earlier start though (see above 75 degree half marathon in September).

Just curious- do you always bring your own water bottle? I’ve relied on water stations before, but thinking for this next one I’ll bring my own water. Do you pop any shot bloks or gu mid-half too??

Also, cute pics of you and Derek!!
RunningOnCoffee recently posted..The Hills and Victory

29 Marci January 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Congrats on another great race! Fun that you were the pacer and y’all broke into pairs.
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30 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Well done!!! Amazing run!! And I love how this is such a family affair for you- so sweet! πŸ˜€
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31 Theodora January 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Great job to you guys! A gorgeous race, and I just love reading race recaps!

32 Toronto Girl West January 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

The picture of you and Derek on the rocks is one of my all time favourites! You two should just hurry up and get engaged already! πŸ˜‰ LOL

On another note – what a great race. It actually looks an awful lot like the Long Beach Marathon! If you’re looking for a race out of state, I highly recommend Run LB!!!
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33 Amy January 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Way to go! And look at you guys rocking crow pose!
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34 Katy (The Singing Runner) January 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm

How amazing! πŸ˜€ Congratulations to everyone!!! How amazing!
I’m trying to get my friend Patrick to run the Disney Half next year… he’s considering it, but only if I run with him. Since I was planning on doing the full marathon, I may be doing the Goofy Challenge. πŸ˜‰
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35 Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 30, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Nice work girl, you rock! I loved looking at every photo πŸ™‚
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36 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate January 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Great race!
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37 Erica January 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm

ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Looks like so much fun! The pumpernickel bagel sounds like a great way to start the day. And way to push your bro to an awesome finish. Glad you guys all did so well. You and D are SO cute!
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38 Alicia January 30, 2011 at 7:02 pm

What a wonderful racing day!! Looks like a blast! I wish I had a family like your where everyone was running together! That is the best!
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39 skinnyrunner January 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

looks like a fun race! i want to join the anderson 5 and run it!
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40 michelle January 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Holy pictures! Love them all.
Great race recap

41 Renee January 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm

love love this entry πŸ™‚

the pictures of you and derek are just amazing- i agree with everyone- you should frame that first one, it shows amazing accomplishments and you can’t even tell you sweated it πŸ™‚

42 Tyly January 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Congrats all the way around!

The you/Derek and you/family pictures post race are fantastic!!
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43 Lindsey January 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Congrats on a great race! I miss Publix cookies sooooo much! I haven’t had one in 7 years since I moved from SC

44 Nikky January 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

It looks like you all had fun! Honestly I think you should open a business on the side for writing race recaps cause you do it so well, they always touch me and make me cry but I’m a cry baby anyway.

45 Cate January 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Awesome! Congrats to everyone for finishing strong!
and very impressive yoga poses at the end!
Cate recently posted..Girls on the Run

46 G January 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Awesome recap!! You all seem like you had so much fun which is soooo nice to see!! It’s also really nice to see pictures of palm trees – I’m so jealous of your running conditions (I’m in Canada and we have way too much snow right now, it’s getting depressing)!!!
Also, that picture of you and Derek after the run with your medals is absolutely GORGEOUS!! How nice it must be to share something you are so passionate about with your significant other! πŸ˜€

47 Ashley January 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Congrats to you and Ben both! You and Derek look so adorable in those pictures πŸ™‚
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48 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Congrats Meghann! This was a great race recap. And congrats to all of you on your times! πŸ™‚
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49 kate January 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Congrats guys!
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50 Michelle @ Living Learning Earning January 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Congratulations to you and your family! I love how it was such a family event. Looks like it was beautiful!
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51 Laura @ Backstage Pass January 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Congrats! How awesome that you had your whole family either running or out there cheering you on πŸ™‚
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52 Katherine: Unemployed January 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm

congrats! awesome job!
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53 Kara January 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Great race! I’d love to run a race with family like that!
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54 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Congrats! It looked like a great race!
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55 Ali @ Ali Runs January 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I always love reading your recaps! What a gorgeous course!! I think it’s so cool that your whole family was involved with this race. You all did such an awesome job!! πŸ™‚ Ps–like everyone else, LOVE the first picture of you and Derek. It seriously looks like a professional took it.
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56 erin January 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

congrats on the fun 1/2 mile…and i love the pic of you and derek!!
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57 Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner January 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Enjoy your nap!!! You derserve it!!! Congratulations on your finish!!! πŸ™‚

58 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Everyone did awesome! You should totally run my next half with me and help me finish in under 2 hours πŸ™‚
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59 Mariana January 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Congratrulations Meghann you are such an inspiration for me!
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60 Sana January 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Your family is just soo amazingg!
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61 Kaitlin January 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Wow, I love that course! Congrats to all of you and your family, you can be proud of all of them! Plus the pics of you with Derek are adorable πŸ™‚
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62 Judith January 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

The best tip for family meeting areas is to meet at Z post-race. Very people have a last name that starts with Z.
This comes after 10 marathons and 22 half marathons worth of experience! πŸ™‚
Great run today! Congrats to you all!

63 Grace January 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Great Job! You look like you all had a great time!
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64 sarah (sarah learns) January 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

congrats on your half! i think it’s so awesome that your family loves to run so much! i would LOVE to do a race with my sister. πŸ™‚
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65 Kiran January 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm

So proud of you all! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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66 Nat January 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Love the family love!!!

67 Christine January 31, 2011 at 1:14 am

Congrats! Isn’t having siblings as runners the best? My sister, brother, and I are very different, but running is one thing we can all talk about.
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68 ezzie January 31, 2011 at 1:17 am

Congratulations!! I hope someday soon I get to run a race w/ my family like you do! It seems so much fun!
& that cookie looks amazing, by the way πŸ˜€
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69 natalie @ January 31, 2011 at 1:35 am

looked like a nice race to run..good time too! well done.. i love your race re-caps
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70 Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge January 31, 2011 at 1:46 am

Congratulations!! That sounds like an amazing race! Great time!! πŸ™‚
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71 katie January 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

Congrats to all of you! Love the recap pics and congrats to your brother and derek for making great time!

I have to tell you, the pic of you and derek near the beach is AMAZING! Beautiful pic and I love it! U guys look so great together!

Have a great day!!! Hope you made it back to Orlando safe! xoxo
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72 Allie January 31, 2011 at 7:12 am

How awesome that you guys were all able to do that race together!!! Very lucky ! Looks like you had a fun time AND you all did amazing πŸ™‚ Great job !
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73 Rachael January 31, 2011 at 7:39 am

Oh my god! That pic of the two of you with your medals! Engagement photo much?!

Congrats to you all!! πŸ™‚
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74 Hope January 31, 2011 at 8:14 am

Congrats to you and your family! That must have been so much fun running the race with people you love and care about! You were all able to motivate and support one another. Love the recap! πŸ™‚
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75 Eliz@The Sweet Life January 31, 2011 at 8:43 am

I LOVE that your whole family is so into this! Way to go.
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76 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday January 31, 2011 at 8:48 am

Awesome!! Way to go Ben with the PR!!

77 Laurie January 31, 2011 at 9:06 am

Congrats to all of you!!! Great race!

78 Susan @ Mom Swim Bike Run January 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

I have to tell you.. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time (over 1.5 years). When I read blog posts like this I can’t help but see the love of your family. As a mother of 3 small children I hope that when they grow up our family will still be as close as yours. I don’t think you do, but I hope you never take it for granted. How blessed you are to have such wonderful parents who support your every move! WTG mom and dad meals and miles for raising and supporting such a wonderful family!
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79 Kacy January 31, 2011 at 11:03 am

That’s awesome that so many of you participated! Great times all around!

80 Sarah January 31, 2011 at 11:24 am

It’s so nice that your whole family was there. Congrats on another race!
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81 Caroline January 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

I’m not a fan of running skirts, but I like the way the one you wore appears to move in these pictures. Cute!
Your brother amuses me. Along with losing the shirt, it looks like he’s going to be losing his shorts soon! Lol.

82 Meredith February 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I thought the same thing! They’re a bit low.

83 Jess@atasteofconfidence January 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Great job to everyone in your fam!
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84 LauraJayne January 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Congrats! Maybe your brother was so excited because he DIDN’T have to run? It’s easy to have a ton of energy if you know you don’t need to save it for a run!
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85 Biz January 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I tried to look up your time yesterday but the link was down. Great times for everyone!!

Love that first picture of you and Derek together!!
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86 Billie January 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm
after 18 years we are finally having our own marathon. Come run it….
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87 Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy January 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Those pictures of you and Derek are so cute!
Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy recently posted..Race Recap – Run for the Children 5K

88 Christie February 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

I just signed up for my very first Marathon this morning. 2012 ING Marathon Miami. My home town!! Hopefully I will see ya there next year!!!

89 Lizzy February 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Congrats! Miami looks awesome and that is one fancy medal πŸ™‚

90 Shannon August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Congrats Meghann on your awesome race! I work for US Road Sports (the company that produces the ING Miami Marathon) and it’s always great reading/hearing about the people that run our events. We hope to see you and your family on the course again in 2012 for our 10th year anniversary! Happy Running!
Shannon Madigan
Logistics Coordinator for US Road Sports

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