Oh hey lookee here, Hokeyblog’s got a new race review! The first in like eight months or something! What gives?
Can I pretend that I am just like the dude in the movie Summer School who was in the bathroom this entire time? No? Oh…
Well… let’s just move on and talk about the 2018 Miami Beach Halloween Freaky 4-Miler, a cherished Halloween race event taking place every year in hallowed and harrowing streets and walkways of Miami Beach. The event hosts both the 4-Miler as well as the Half Marathon, which might prompt longtime Hokeyblog readers to notice that we did NOT run the half marathon this year, like we’ve done every year since 2013.
If you are so inclined, you might remember some fun times from:
- 2013 Halloween Half Marathon
- 2014 Halloween Half Marathon
- 2015 Halloween Half Marathon
- 2016 Halloween Half Marathon
- 2017 Halloween Half Marathon (which we didn’t blog about, because four is quite enough, no?)
But this time around, Awesome Running Buddy Kristi and I, instead of running the half marathon, ran the 4-Miler. Ran? No… we WALKED it!
Why? Because Awesome Running Buddy Kristi fractured her tibia last July, and this was her first time back at a race since her injury, and walking four miles not even three months after leg surgery is pretty damn impressive, and we here at Hokeyblog are goshdarned proud of her recovery.
So anyway, this was our fourth time doing this race together, and in costume. In 2014 we went as Batgirl and Robin:
Then in 2015, it was the Little Bad Wolf and Big Red Running Hood:
Kristi sat out 2016, but returned with a vengeance in 2017, this time joining me as we ran as Cheech and Chong:
(Although everyone kept calling her Misty…)
Anyway this year, we kept the concept simple. Tiger and Elephant. Because Kristi loves big cats and I freakin’ love elephants. Even if my costume was rather half-assed…
Well anyway… let’s get to the race itself. Traditionally, both Halloween races (the Half Marathon and Freaky 4-Miler) have both started at Jungle Island, but this year the start line was moved to South Pointe Park. This was reportedly because of construction on the MacArthur Causeway linking mainland Miami to the Beaches.
So this was a bit of a new experience for us. At 5 that morning, Boots and I picked up Kristi and drove from Plantation to Miami Beach. It was a quick and easy drive; we were even able to park about 10 minutes from the Start Line.
It was already plenty dark out, but the Start Area was pretty festive (if tightly packed). The race began on the walkway adjacent to Government Cut (the man-made channel that leads cruise and shipping liners from the Atlantic to the Port of Miami). I kind of liked starting here. It afforded us some nifty sunrise views.
There were plenty of runners in some pretty amazing (and amazingly revealing) outfits. My favorites were this guy as Richard Simmons:
And of course the Powerpuff Girls:
And then of course we had this guy. I named him “Jeffrey”:
In any case, at 6:30 AM the half-marathon runners took off on their race, and at just after 6:50 AM us four-mile runners crossed the Start Line and began our trek about the South Beach area.
The 2018 Miami Beach Halloween Freaky 4-Miler!
Here’s a look at our race course, courtesy of Google Maps and my still trusty and erstwhile Garmin Forerunner 920XT:
So in this revised course, we began on the wide walkway adjacent to Alton, heading northwest until we reached the Causeway, looping around onto Alton heading southeast. The route turned east on South Point Drive, then about a mile out-and-back on Ocean Drive. Returning back to South Point Drive, the remaining 1.25 miles is a quick jaunt throughout and finishing at South Pointe Park, right where we started.
I’ll be honest here. Kristi and I just went for an amazing four mile walk that morning. In costume. I was worried about her leg, but her orthopedist cleared her for physical activity, and she was a total trooper. We had a fun sojourn throughout South Beach. At one point we were even the last two people in the back. Zero fox given. Plus we ended up passing people anyhow.
So here we are on Alton:
Then turning onto Ocean:
Right about here I heard some happy shrieks in my direction and randomly bumped into my buddy Ashley, so that made it selfie time:
After that it was a skip and a dance through Lummous Park:
Then back down Ocean:
A quick hug from my buddy Anna:
And a final mile throughout South Pointe Park:
Plus a quick cameo from the greatest costume of the day, the walking PortoPotty dude:
And after that we crossed the Finish Line with pretty much the most unflattering Finish Line photo ever, but we had beer waiting for us, so there was that:
At least I am demonstrating a semi-decent walking stride…
After crossing the Finish Line we received our medals. The Halloween Half Marathon and Freaky 4-Miler medals are always pretty spectacular, as far as medals go. They are also always Halloween themed, and very well put together. This year the medal theme was the Mummy’s Sarcophagus, as seen from this picture I shamelessly ripped off from their Facebook page:
In previous years, we’ve had medals based on the Werewolf (2013), the Headless Horseman (2014), Frankenstein (2015), Skeletons (2016), and Pumpkin-headed Necromancers (2017). The Mummy Sarcophagus makes for a fine addition — and I’m not even much of a medal nerd to begin with. Good stuff.
Usually the race after-party has been held at Nikki Beach, but that was a no-go for this year. I think there was some remodeling going on or something. Oh well. They had hot food at the Finish line, along with bottled water, fruit, and granola bars. The hot food line was insanely long, so Kristi and I grabbed some water and made a beeline over to Boots, enjoying the shade in the grassy area of the park.
Oh, and there is no booze, by the way. Want a beer after the race? Better bring your own. We sure as hell did. Cheers. This fact was not unnoticed by my buddy Emily, who joined us after finishing her half-marathon.
And we got to hang out with this awesome pup, who was cheering on his Wonder Woman human on her race:
Anyway if this race review feels slight — and it does — it’s only because in the end, Kristi and I treated the 2018 Miami Beach Halloween Freaky 4-Miler as a super-enjoyable morning walk through the streets of South Beach. In costumes. Because that’s exactly what it was. A fun morning surrounded by like-minded running- and Halloween-loving friends and fools. And all those that overlap therein.
While some might quibble that not starting on Jungle Island and running on the MacArthur Causeway prevents runners from experiencing those amazing early morning views of the Port of Miami in full neon glow, or that the lack of an after-party venue made the overall event seem lesser than previous years… they might have a point. But both issues were outside the control of the race itself; no race director can override roadside construction or building renovations. Still, we had a great time at the 2018 Miami Beach Halloween Freaky 4-Miler. Just remember to a) dress for the occasion, and b) bring your own. Just sayin’. Here’s the video: