Sunday, January 29, 2006

what's next, what's hip, what's blingy

I had a great time this morning at the ING Miami Marathon, even if I didn't run a great time. I ran 3:19:30, which is a lot slower than my time last year. Oh well, I wasn't really expecting a PR, after such a sketchy training cycle. Maybe next time I'll prepare better.

The race was very smoothly operated, with great volunteers and a fabulous course, and perfect weather conditions. My only suggestion to the race organizers is that they improve the name: perhaps the "Miami BLING Marathon". This would subtly integrate the lead sponsor's name, while it references one of the event's singular features, the elaborate finisher medal (shown above). The sight of thousands of runners wearing these gaudy necklaces brought to mind a crowd of really athletic pimps and rap artists. Well, not really, we're mostly a bit too white and dorky-looking. Still though, this might be an angle for an advertising slogan: "Run the Bling Marathon with P. Diddy!" Just a thought.

Here's the actual race program's blurb on the "Evolution of the Medal":
Miami is a trend setting locale. A place where people look to see what's next, what's hip and what's got style and flair. The 2006 ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon medal is best defined as... So Miami! Its double-spinning details would blend well in a music video. The Art Deco shape and colors will provide a point of reference for your lasting memories of the only marathon which runs through an Art Deco District. The ING Miami Marathon will once again create the paradigm shift in the world of marathon finisher medals. Miami was the first to have a spinning medal and now is the first to have a two part spinning medal with stained glass! We know this medal will be one you will proudly display and will certainly wear with style.
I'm not quite so certain, but I could just be that rare person whose wardrobe does not easily complement chunky orange and gold accessories. I hope this does not signal that I am lacking in style and flair, or disqualify me from appearing in a music video. I also like define myself as... So Miami!, though I realize that might not be the very best definition of me.

On a related note, one of the reasons I've been running so inconsistently is that I've been getting instead into ashtanga yoga practice. This is a very challenging and fulfilling practice, great for mind and body fitness, though it may not help that much in training to run ridiculous distances. Even with all the neat poses, you never move far off a 2.5 x 6 ft. mat. I wrote here recently about my search for yoga instruction; soon after that I discovered a great teacher named Kino MacGregor, who appears on the front cover of this month's Yoga Journal, and teaches right here in South Beach.

Kino is an amazing teacher and practitioner of ashtanga, and she'll be traveling to Mysore, India this week to study with her own teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. You can read more about her at her website Ashtanga Awareness, and she will be back teaching at Synergy Yoga in Miami Beach in March or April. Her classes fill up quickly, and latecomers end up doing their sun salutations in the bathroom hallway just so they can be nearby and take part. This maybe is also So Miami! - though if you've taken one of Kino's classes you know she's much hipper and more stylish than any clunky spinning medal.

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