Category Archive: Race Info

Travelling With FIT: The New York City Marathon — Part 5

IMG_3094Hey gang! Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) and a totally buttkickin’ New Year! We are back with our continuing coverage of FIT’s awesome tales of victory at The New York City Marathon last November. Let’s dive right in with a recap from our good friend Ana:

  NYC Marathon: A dream come true… and I don’t even know how!

Looking back on my life, thinking about running — not even a race or marathon just running — was something that never would happen.

I started a process of change when I turned 40. By working out and eating healthy, I was able to lose weight and stay in good shape. After spending 2 years at this lifestyle, my fitness coach invited me to run at Key Biscayne, just “to see if I could”. To my surprise, I could and liked it. So we decided to include it in our routine (with my husband Juan, who has accompanied me throughout this process and on each of these adventures) by running weekends and evenings during our daughter’s soccer practices or any other activities with our children. Time was passing and the miles increasing, until one day I told Juan, why don’t we try a 1/2 marathon? In December 2014 I ran my first half, and then Miami Half in January 2015 and I did fine, with no coach, no club…just internet plans and many friends.


But then I discovered the running clubs, and by looking and following our friend Rosatil Materan in Facebook we found FIT and the announcement of the first season in Weston — YEAH!!! Being that it was so close to home, we started with FIT in February 2015. At the same time we signed up for the NYC Marathon lottery, understanding that usually takes a few years before you can get in, so we would have the time to train and be ready. Butthe surprise was the day of the lottery when I get the email “Ana you are in” ….. my husband Juan didn’t get it. Oh well, I think I’m running my first full marathon.

This was the start of this adventure, together with Juan and my group of friends from FIT: planning the track training, short and medium runs during the week and long run on weekends, shared route and water coolers with Mare, Rosa, Debi and more FIT friends, other days just by myself and Juan always supporting every 2 miles to make sure I was safe and providing water, supplements and support. Without my wonderful husband this would not have been possible, waking up early, driving and supporting me on each of my long runs, tracks, etc. Even during vacation he organized routes to keep me on track with the training plan while he took care of the children, not to mention the nutrition plans and special strength workouts in the gym.

When I was going to my 2nd long run for 20 miles I was bored of the same route, running alone. I called FIT to seek help and of course Marcela says “My beautiful, I go with you”. It was a very nice run, with some interruptions because I did not feel well, but we got 17 miles down with her support, company and advice. It was a great morning. Thank you Marcela!!

During these months of training I learned to understand my pace and how to handle it. This was hard for me. I also ran many 5k and 10k Race, again, including holidays.

Well, after all this training, the long awaited weekend arrived. If two years ago someone would tell me that something like this would happen to me, running a full marathon and my first one being NY, I would swear No Way!! But I’m here. I enjoyed every day in NY with Juan and the FIT family.

Finally the day came, I found myself alone, Juan could not be there to take care of and support me. The poor guy did his own marathon around New York trying to catch me at several race points, meeting me at two and missing me at the other two.

When the race started running over the Verrazano bridge, I cried tears of joy & emotion, thinking of that vast and amazing city, and I was there! I was part of this unique moment, experiencing all the excitement with each band of musicians, dancers, and all the spectators screaming our names. I felt a surge of elation every time I reached each bridge and successfully ran over them. My first surprise was that I was able to do it with no problem, reaching 22 mile running fairly even without stopping… YEAH !!!

Then, perhaps under the emotion, I lost my concentration and forgot about the incline towards Central Park on 5th Ave, specially at mile 24 in Central Park with the ups and downs; those two miles were killers. The smile that I had throughout the race disappeared. Finally at mile 25 , I recovered my joy and happiness of being part of the race. So I finished strong, straight up, without pain, tired but happy, meeting up at the end with my husband as we had planned. And to my great happiness the next day, I woke up fine, strong, and with no major pains. Hard work pays off. Training with FIT and with my husband paid off!

And now this is just the beginning…

Thank you for sharing your story, Ana. Tune in for our next installment, coming soon!

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Recap Video

233097_181524169_MediumAnd we’re back!

The 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend started on the morning of Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 with the opening of the Race Expo (at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex), and ran through Sunday, January 11th with the running of the 22nd Walt Disney World Marathon. In between those two events were a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Kids Races, speakers, seminars, pasta dinners, theme park rides, fireworks, and all other sorts of Disney fun.

And Friends In Training was there! Several team members competed in many of the events. Some were running their first Marathons. The Goofy Challenge participants ran both the Half and Full on back-to-back days, while the Dopey Challengers ran all four races (5K, 10K, Half, Full) over four days and nearly 49 miles! We are also blessed with some super cool (and often VERY cold) weather, which after some of the hotter, more humid Florida races over the past few years, we’ll gladly take.

Anyway, a great time was had by all. Check out the video below for some of the weekend highlights.

Dinner and Meet-Up information for DISNEY MARATHON WEEKEND!

rundisneypicHi everyone. We’re back with a quick update for all you fine FIT folk who are participating in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

This is exciting stuff! For first time Disney runners and longtime enthusiasts, Run Disney races are always a LOT of fun. Plenty of smiles, photos, singing, and good times along with some of the most buttkickin’ race medals known to mankind.

So no matter if you’re doing the 5K, 10K, Half, Full, Goofy (half and full), or Dopey (all four races!), you’ll be having a blast.

Last year was the first year of the Dopey, and many of our FIT peeps took on that challenge for the first time. Others, like yours truly here, only managed to do the Grumpy and wussed out of doing the Marathon. But we all had a great time. Take a look at our FIT video from last year for a rundown of our exciting adventures (please forgive the massively overplayed song, it was still new back then):

Pretty nifty, huh? We’ll be doing another video this year for sure.

So with that in mind here’s the rundown for FIT activity this weekend:

Friday night, January 9 2015

The night before the half, you are cordially invited to meet  for dinner at the Art of Animation Resort food court. The Art of Animation resort is one of their newer resorts with a spacious seating area and a good selection of choices. Please be there by 5:00 PM. That’ll give us enough time to grab our dinner, find some seating together, and take a whole bunch of nifty pics.

Saturday morning, January 10 2015 (Half Marathon morning)

We will be meeting up at 4:30 AM that morning to take group pictures and do some general hob-nobbing… whatever that means! The meeting spot will be the F flag in the Bag Check area. What does this mean? Around the tents you will see several giant flags with letters on them. A-C, D-F, G-I, etc. Whichever flag involves the letter F (be it, D-F, E-G, F-H, etc.) is where we will meet at 4:30 AM. Show up and smile all pretty and stuff!

Saturday night, January 10 2015

For the night before the marathon, we’ll meet up for dinner at 5:00 PM at the Contempo Cafe in the Contemporary Resort. This is located up on the 4th-floor concourse of the main Contemporary Hotel (do not go to either of the side “wings”). It has a touch-screen food selection system and has a very good selection; we went there the night before the Princess Half last year and it seemed pretty popular, so we’re doing it again this time around. Yay!

Sunday morning, January 11, 2015 (Marathon morning)

Same as the half, we will be meeting at 4:30 AM at the F flag in the Bag Check area.

After the marathon, there might be some informal meetups or drinks or dinner or park time or whatever. We’ll play that by ear.

If anyone has any issues, questions, or ideas, text me (Matt) at (305) 215-4201 or Facebook me if we’re buddies. And if we’re not buddies, we totally should be, right?

Stay happy my friends and get ready for a great weekend!


The end of the race season… or is it??

Let’s talk about this, shall we?

OK, I know what several of you are thinking. It’s April, winter is long-since over with (for however long it lasts in South Florida, which was unusually short this year, even by our standards), all of the Big Local Races (halves and fulls) are done, and the FIT Season is winding down, right? The Storm Series? Little more than a breezy memory. Disney races? Goofied out. Local iterations of the big race series like 13.1 and Rock N Roll? Hasta solonga.

So what’s a FIT runner to do?


OK I know, you Big Sur runners are still deep in training, and many of us non-Big Sur types are keeping up our miles as well, but it is always noticeable that the amount of people showing up every Saturday dwindles as the season winds down. The temptation to say, “Well I’m done with races until next Fall, I can always pick it back up next August” is always prevalent. You might even pooh-pooh suggestions that maintaining a lower mileage, three-times-a-week running schedule is worthwhile.

But I implore you: DO NOT POOH-POOH!

There’s still plenty of great reasons to keep your training going, throughout the remainder of the FIT Season and afterward, through the summer until the next FIT Season starts! You’ll remain as healthy as an ox, you’ll become a stronger running by continuing to not only maintain a healthy lifestyle but to build up your stamina and form in the hotter months of the year, and you might even continue running with the same awesome buddies who keep showing up every Saturday morning at the park, even during the off-season.

It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation!

But that said, even though the Big Races are done, there are still more events to look forward to in South Florida in April and May. So here are a couple of local races you might want to consider (or even bringing in some fellow runners to join you!)


Coral Gables MS Run 4/5/2014 Coral Gables 5K run
Dash of Color 5K 4/5/2014 Miami Springs 5K novelty run
Great American Bacon Race 4/5/2014 North Miami 5k run, kids run
Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness 5K Run, Walk & Roll 4/6/2014 Coconut Creek 5K run
Rugged Runner Challenge 4/6/2014 West Palm Beach 4 Mile Obstacle run
Super Spartan Race 4/12/2014 Miami 9 Mile mud run/adventure race
Support Our Troops 10K 4/12/2014 North Palm Beach 10K run, 5k run, kids run
Gumbo Limbo Green Turtle Gallop 10K 4/13/2014 Boca Raton 10K run
down2earth Bark at the Park 5K Dog Run 4/19/2014 Hialeah 5k novelty run
The Human Race 4/26/2014 Hollywood 5K
Florida Brain Tumor Ass’n Sprint for the Cure 4/27/2014 Weston 5K run, 5K walk
Hollywood Running Festival 4/27/2014 Hollywood 13.1 Miles, 10K, 5K
SunFest TGi5K 5/2/2014 West Palm Beach 5K run
Heroes in Recovery 5/3/2014 Coconut Creek 6K run, 6K walk
Mud Mingle – Miami 5/3/2014 Miami 10K mud run, 5K mud run
Wings For Life World Run 5/4/2014 Sunrise Outrun the Catcher Car!
ALS Recovery Fund 10K Run & 5K 5/10/2014 Coconut Grove 10K, 5K
The Color Run 5/10/2014 Fort Lauderdale 5K
Covenant House Florida 5K on A1A 5/17/2014 Fort Lauderdale 5K
Ft. Lauderdale Undy 5000 5/17/2014 Fort Lauderdale 5K
Hugs For Hope 5K Run/Walk 5/17/2014 Sunrise 5K
Keys100 5/17/2014 The Florida Keys 100/50 Mile Ultra, 100 Mile Relay
Double Road Race Ft. Lauderdale 5/18/2014 Fort Lauderdale 10K, 5K, kids run

I’m sure there are plenty more that I’m overlooking, but you get the picture. Is the season over?


It’s not over until WE say it’s over!!

So get out there and run :)

Disney Princess Half Marathon race and meetup info


Fun happy times await anyone going to the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, coming up over the next few days at the Walt Disney World resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Dreams will come true for princesses of all ages and sizes (and *ahem* genders…) as they take on a host of events, including the Royal Family 5K on Friday the 21st, Enchanted 10K on Saturday the 22nd, and the signature event Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. There’s also the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge for those doing both the 10K and Half Marathon (extra bling), and the Coast To Coast Challenge for those who have already run races in Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year (MORE extra bling!)

Those of us who have competed in Disney races know how much fun they are. There’s always great entertainment, resources, character photo ops, music, the thrill and excitement of running through the parks to the cheers of thousands of adoring spectators, and some of the best-looking medals in the business. These races are also MUCH more expensive than others, so you’re paying for all those perks. But still, it’s worth it, as they are like no other races in the world. Mostly.

All that said… there’s a bunch of FIT buddies going up to the Orlando area this weekend, so here’s some important information:

1) We’re having an “unofficial” group dinner the night before the Half Marathon, on Saturday February 22nd at 5:15 PM at the Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. The Contempo Cafe is a “food court” (with touchscreen order stations) on the 4th Floor Concourse. Come for the grub, take a few pics and laugh with our buddies as we carb up for the next day’s events.

2) Raceday pics will be taken by the lovely Mrs. Millheiser on Sunday (February 23rd). Plan to meet up at the Start Area by the F-flag at around 4:15 AM. Usually it’s marked F-H but it could be E-G or D-F or who knows what. Just find the F (for FIT, of course!) flag and bring your best Princess smolder. I know I will.

3) There’s a very high likelihood more than a few of us will want to have a celebratory lunch afterward, since many are leaving later that afternoon to return home. Nothing has been planned as of yet, so make sure you keep in touch with your FIT buddies so we can get the word around.

Well that’s it. Good luck ladies (and gent)! Tutus and tiaras await us all with fortuosity in abundance!

Miami Marathon: Expo, Event, Logistics, and Everything…

mm_logo_smallAnother day, another big race, and another FIT event. This is the time when we get our A-game on and become #miamifamous with the 2014 Miami Marathon and Half Marathon! This is the biggest South Florida race of the year, attracting nearly twenty-five thousand runners to brave the course that takes you from downtown Miami through South Beach, over the Venetian, through Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, and Brickell Avenue before returning you to the Finish Line right near Bicentennial Park.

Make no mistake: this thing is a juggernaut.

Many of our FIT buddies have also completed their first ever full 26.2-mile marathons at the Miami Marathon: the course is reasonably fast and almost entirely flat. Almost. Let’s be real, you’re going to be climbing the MacArthur Causeway before you even finish the first mile. All those bridge repeats we’ve done as a group over the past several months? Here is where they are going to pay off, bigtime. But after that slight bump, we’re in South Beach, getting cheered on by models, drag queens, and party people who are stumbling out of bars, nightclubs, and diners at daybreak to the view of thousands of sweaty, fit, active people showing them up a peg or two. HAH! We went to bed at 8 and got up at 3! Can we party or what??

Well anyway…

Here’s some important pieces of information for all Miami Marathon (or Half Marathon) runners, seasoned pros and brand newbies alike:

Participant Instructions

The official participant instructions are available online and can be found here.

Friends In Training Info

We’re going to be taking awesome group photos the morning of the race. Please make sure you meet up with us at 5:10 AM on the steps in front of the American Airlines Arena. We will be taking picture at 5:15 AM, after which we can all break off into our various corrals, take bathroom breaks, and do any other pre-race rituals.

We will also have a Finish Area tent which we will be sharing with Motorola. There we can rest, relax, and Jennifer will be providing massages for $1/minute.

Expo and Pickup Information

The happy funtime “grab your bib, race shirt, and then get shopping” event! This year’s Nissan Health & Fitness Expo is where you’re going to be pickup up your race packets. As usual, it is being held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, located at:

Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive – Hall A
Miami Beach, FL 33139

The expo hours will be:

Friday, January 31, 2014 – 12 PM to 7 PM
Saturday, February 1, 2014 – 10 AM to 6 PM

View Larger Map

Parking in that area, even during the best of times, can be a nightmare. I suggest you get there as early as possible. I like to park at the garage just across 17th Street (adjacent to the Lincoln Road Mall). As always, your mileage may vary. Also as always: remember to bring a Picture ID! This sounds like Common Sense, and it is, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen arguing with staff at pickup because they didn’t have/bring their ID. In 2014. Honestly…

There are going to be a host of speakers throughout the Expo on Friday and Saturday. Topics include Participant/Race Instructions, How To Avoid Injuries, Nutrition, Refueling, Motivation, and more. Check the schedule to see if there will be any in which you’re interested. Our very own FIT Director and High Priestess of Woo-Hoo’ism herself, Marcela Todd, will be speaking on Friday at 2:00 PM and Saturday at 4:00 PM, offering Participant Instructions for Spanish-language runners.

And no, I will not be offering Participant Instructions via interpretive dance. Again. Sorry.

Race Day Times

The Start Line opens at 5:00 AM. Opening ceremonies start at 6:00 AM. Athletes with Disabilities take off at 6:05 AM, and finally all other corrals hit the ground running at 6:15 AM. We all know what Miami / South Florida traffic can be like. So get there as early as you can.

The Start Line is literally sandwiched between the American Airlines Arena (on your right) and the Freedom Tower (on your left). That’s quite the view! There are several public parking lots and garages all around the area, so I’d also recommend arriving as early as possible to make sure you don’t end up frantically scouring the area for an open spot. The AAA is located at:

American Airlines Arena
601 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132

View Larger Map

Coming from Broward County, the Participant Guide recommends that you take I-95 South to exit 3B (NW 8th Street). Turn left on NW 8TH ST, heading eastbound into downtown Miami.

Weather Conditions

Frightening. NAH I’m just kidding you, but let’s be blunt; while we’ve been enjoying some excellent weather lately, with cool (sometimes COLD!) temperatures and clear skies, this weekend’s weather is going to be a return to South Florida regular standards. As of Wednesday, January 29th, the Accuweather forecast calls for Partly Sunny, with a low of 71 and a high of 81. That means it’s going to be plenty warm to hot throughout the duration of the race. While the morning portion will be plenty manageable, with less direct sunlight and more oceanfront breezes, the late morning and early afternoon is going to be a scorching one. Make sure you hydrate plenty (but still without overdoing it), even starting 48 hours before the race. Wear sunglasses, a visor, and any kind of band, hat or buff to keep the sun out of your face, eyes, and head. Sunscreen and Chap-Stick (or any lip moisturizer)are always your friends, but be careful of applying anything on your forehead that can drip into your eyes. And never, ever be afraid of asking a volunteer to pour water on your head. Some of them will do it for you. MANY of them enjoy that kind of thing!!

Well this is Miami, after all…


As always, there’s going to be MarathonFoto photographers all over the course, so don’t be afraid to smile and do your best “action pose” for them — but make sure you don’t do anything sudden or crazy that will interfere with other runners. Many people run across a course so they can be “in front” of a photographer. Don’t do that… they see you, don’t worry. And they’ve got zoom lenses! Awesome!! :)

And this might be a bit self-serving, but my loving and adoring wife Kim is going to be the official FIT photographer for this event, and if I say so myself she takes some pretty buttkickin’ photographs of our buttkickin’ running team! So if you see her out there, wave and smile! And don’t worry: she’ll definitely see you coming!


The Miami Marathon always has some incredibly awesome medals, and this year looks to be no exception. So wear yours proudly because you’ve earned it. For those of us competing in the Florida Storm Series, you are also eligible for extra bling; the CATEGORY-3 medal is yours if you’ve also successfully completed the 2013 13.1 Fort Lauderdale last November and the 2013 Palm Beaches Half- or Full-Marathon. Either way, this is where all our hard work pays off. We don’t necessarily “run for the bling”… but it doesn’t hurt!

Well I’m sure there’s much more out there to discover about the race, but at least all this info will point you in the right direction. Good luck and see you out there bright & early Sunday morning!

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Recap Video

disney-marathon-weekend-2014Hi gang! Long time no talk… hope life is treating every unbelievably swell this new year.

For now though, let’s talk about our latest FIT group running event. And boy oh boy, was this a FUN one! From January 8th through January 12th 2014, Run Disney hosted their annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend up in Lake Buena Vista, FL. And pretty good sure as you’re born, many of us in FIT attended the event, most of whom attempting (and succeeding) the Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles in four events over four days). Unbelievable! That’s a lot of dedication!

There will be more updates later. Care for a sneak preview? Please enjoy our video :)


Christmas/New Year’s 5Ks, 10Ks, and Fun Runs…

Whatup FIT buddies??

I’m sure everyone is having a most festive and calorie-busting Holiday Season, yours truly inclusive. Apropos of everything, that means that, as ultimate awesome mega-running bad-asses, we need to keep our runs going consistently and on-schedule. Easier said than done, sometimes, but there you have it.

"Ho-ho-Holy moley, did I forget to start my Garmin??"

“Ho-ho-Holy moley, did I forget to start my Garmin??”

In light of that self-aggrandizing moment, I thought I’d share some information on local South Florida runs and races over the next two weeks. Even a “simple” 5K will keep your spirits and morale high, as well as making sure you haven’t forgotten proper running form because of that most incredible Egg Nog which Uncle Farfel makes every year. MAN that’s good stuff…

Date Race Location Description
12/21/2013 Sunrise Jingle Bell Jog Sunrise 5K, Kid’s Romp, Youth Mile
12/21/2013 Wilton Manors Santa 5K Wilton Manors 5K
12/24/2013 12 Miles of Christmas Training Run Davie Up to 12 miles
12/28/2013 Resolution Fun Run Fort Lauderdale 5K, Youth Mile
12/28/2013 South Florida Fair 5K Run West Palm Beach 5K
12/29/2013 Boca 5K and 10K Boca Raton 5K, 10K
01/01/2014 Founders Park 5K Islamorada 5K
01/04/2014 Save The Panther 5K West Palm Beach 5K
01/05/2014 Levis JCC Flamingo Five Boca Raton 5K, 5 Miler
01/05/2014 Davie Road Race Davie 5K, 10K

If you know of any other races I’ve left off, let me know by emailing me at Otherwise, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Festive Festivus, and Safe Runnings to everyone!

Palm Beaches Marathon race and pickup info

Well that magical time is upon us! Yet another race event is coming up this Sunday, December 8th, and of course we’re talking about the 2013 Palm Beaches Marathon & Run Fest. This is the last big FIT group event of 2013, so I’m looking forward to seeing so many buddies out there this Sunday. And no worries if you miss it, there are so many more coming up in the early months of 2014. So it’s still going to remain a most buttkickin’ race season!

Anyway, here’s some important race information for those who will be attending the event this Sunday. Both the Marathon and Half-Marathon begin at 6:30 AM on Sunday. The Start Line will be at Flagler Drive and Banyan Street, the Finish Line at Flagler and Clematis — right by the Waterfront and City Commons.

View Larger Map

Packet Pick-Up is going on Friday 12/6 and Saturday 12/7 at:

Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace
600 S. Rosemary Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

View Larger Map

You can pick up your bib and packet swag on Friday between the hours 4PM to 8PM, and Saturday between 10AM and 6PM. If you want to pick up registration information for someone else who can’t make it, make sure you have a copy of their photo ID. Take a picture of their ID with your phone as a backup as well.

Good luck everybody, we’ll see you out there bright and early on Sunday!

2013 Turkey Trots

I mean, what else are you gonna do? Watch the freakin’ parade?? Well of course you are, it’s a goshdarn American tradition after all! But that starts at 9 AM, so before then why not take the opportunity to keep up your training, burn off a few calories in anticipation of ingesting roughly 10 times that amount later that evening, and enjoy the holiday festivity outdoors first thing in the morning?

Anyway, listed below are links to several Turkey Trots in the area, if you’re so inclined. Run early, then watch the parade, slave in the kitchen, enjoy Thanksgiving, football, or even Channukah if that’s your thing. Has anyone ever run a marathon dressed as a giant dreidel? I’m curious…

It's got potential...

It’s got potential…

2013 Turkey Trots

I’m sure there are plenty others so feel free to share any I haven’t listed in the Comments section. Happy running and feasting and latkes to everybody!

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