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Best Jog Miami 2013 - Rickenbacker Causeway

Pull into the gravelly parking lot at Crandon Park Marina. Park as close as you can to the road, in the free spaces. Turn off your engine, step into the humid morning air, and feel the breeze on your soon-to-be sweaty skin. Stretch your legs against the bumper of your car — really stretch them. Now run west on the paved path that parallels the road. Notice the fishermen prepping their boats for a day at sea. Stride onto the first bridge, an easy one with a barely noticeable incline, stretching from Crandon Park to Virginia Key almost at sea level. Feel that first energizing blast of bay wind right off the water. Look across the horizon to the few sailboats in the distance and the pinks and peaches of sunrise beyond. Keep running. Set foot back on land at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. How long has that building been under construction now? No matter. Take note of its beautiful beaches. Keep running. Pass Miami Seaquarium and Mast Academy, then the road that used to lead to Jimbo's. Reminisce. Keep running. Smile at the other runners, speedwalkers, and families. The path is wide enough for you all. Keep running past the kayak tours and snack vendors until you're past the Rusty Pelican and the Rickenbacker bridge looms. It's not as far or as steep as it looks, and the skyline view from its peak is worth the effort. Coast back down to land with the breeze cooling your skin and slowing your heart. Know that the hardest part is over. Or maybe not. Your car's at the marina, dummy.

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