They Ran the Miami Marathon

As a member of the Baptist Health Marketing team, I have played a behind-the-scenes role at the Miami Marathon for the past three years. Each year, I am in awe of the 25,000-plus people who choose to run/walk either the half or full marathon. I am always curious as to what makes them run and keep on running.

To learn more about why they run, we interviewed six runners who shared their stories.

Each marathoner (as they like to be called), has a personal agenda, but in the end, the common thread is a determination to succeed.

It’s habit-forming. After completing one marathon, they go on to run again.

Our 2014 gallery of runners includes Natalie Mas, who shares her personal account of Race Day:

Natalie Mas
“My time was 2:54:27 for the half marathon, with an average pace per mile of 12:54.


I didn’t make my goal of 2:30:00 as the weather was very hot and humid.  Last year, I ran faster, with an average pace per mile of 12:34 and a total time of 2:50:10. (This year and last year, I tracked my time with Run-Keeper, a free mobile app that lets you track your workout performance).

“My first four miles, I maintained a good pace with an average of 11:40 per mile, but I wasn’t enjoying the miles too much. I felt tired, which is odd for me.  (I usually start strong and energetic). But this year, I only slept two hours the night before. I couldn’t fall asleep.  I guess it was nerves and the fact that Baptist Health posted my race-time goal of 2:30:00; so the pressure was on.

“Then on mile five, I had to make a pit stop, (again nerves). But I perked up on miles six through eight, and I ran harder. I was feeling very energetic and was enjoying my run, the scenery and all the people running along with me. I was hot and sweating, but it was all good ─ it’s part of running. My average pace from mile five through eight was 12:44, which wasn’t bad.

“Then from mile nine through 13, it all started to slow down, and I had an average pace of 13:58 per mile. Despite my slowdown, I was having a great time and had a big smile on my face taking it all in ─ people cheering and the sight of my son and a close friend waving cheer signs with my name on them. At one point, we ran by a Catholic church, and the priest was sprinkling everyone with holy water.

“It also rained on us about our last mile but was refreshing and very much needed. As I finished the race, I witnessed a marriage proposal close to the finish line.

“I had a great time!  The weather was hot and humid, but I enjoyed my run, and I got to cross the finish line once again. After the run, we went back to TeamFootWorks tent and enjoyed great food and a massage. I socialized, met other runners and we shared our stories. My actual run started at 6:42 a.m. and I didn’t leave the festivities until about 2:30 p.m.

“Every time I run, I’m in awe. It’s an amazing feeling when you cross that finish line – such a great sense of accomplishment and I’ve crossed the finish line two times.”

More Reflections from Marathoners
So if you are even thinking about running a half or full marathon, here are other thoughts from our inspiring marathoners:

Becky Lowell
“My first thought of the marathon is accomplishment. The first half came with ease and enjoyment. The second half was a testament to will and determination.  Mentally I was prepared but for some reason my quads were not working with me. It was a struggle with every step. I hadn’t experienced this during training and it was eye-opening. The biggest joy was seeing all those familiar faces on the course. The tremendous outpour of love and support from Team FDC is unexplainable. This race was truly one for the memory books. Off to conquer my next challenge!”

Jose Matute
“At mile 18, I started feeling the beginning of leg cramps, which I managed to keep under control by walking it off. However my pace slowed down a lot. I have to learn what to do to avoid getting leg cramps despite all the precautions. My time was better than last year, but was very slow for my expectations. I was hoping to come in around 4:45 and ended up doing 5:22. One thing though, I am very happy that my group ran well and completed their goal. Most of them were all very appreciative and plan on coming back to train with me next year. And, we will do it all over again.”

Matthew Millheiser
“Running keeps me moving literally and metaphorically and provides a purpose beyond the everyday.”

Mike Neubauer
“Show up! Get off the couch and take the first step.”

Monica Leon
“My overall experience was positive.  Although my kids did not make it out there, I was fortunate enough to do ‘facetime’ with them during the race.  I had my very own cheering squad complete with posters full of rainbows and dinosaurs and dragons (because they were chasing mommy to make her run faster).”

Baptist Health is committed to improving our community’s health and wellness. Through sponsorships of the run clubs, Baptist Health supports programs that are outlets for our community to work on their health goals.

For more information about joining a run club in your neighborhood, click on the links below:

To read the full posts click Running for Their Lives; Marathon Motivation: Why They Run.

photo captions:  Team Footworks, Natalie and Mike, her teammate

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español