Bryan Huberty has run 27 marathons, 80 half marathons and more than 55 5K races since he took up racing nine years ago. But the 37-year-old was still giddy Saturday morning after running a personal-best 15:48.32 to defend his title in the Tropical 5K, the annual warm-up for the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon.
"I had really fresh legs for this race," said Huberty, who sheared 12 seconds off his former best time of 16:00.00 and 40 seconds off his 16:28.36 winning time from 2015. "You need a 5:09 average to break 16 minutes. Today I was doing the math the whole time in my head since no one was with me. I took 12 seconds off my personal best.
"I'm not a 5K runner, I'm a marathoner. I do the 5K twice a year and I did this one last year and won it. I love running out here."
The 7:30 a.m. race drew 2,400 runners on a clear but windy 61 degree morning that provided ideal conditions. It didn't hurt that the 25 mph gusts served as a tailwind for much of the point-to-point race that began at the Miami Children's Museum east of Watson Island and ended on the Southern tip of Miami Beach with several cruise ships in port providing a picturesque backdrop.
Saturday's strong winds also helped account for a personal best for Dean Frankel, 26, Huberty's fellow Miami Beach resident and sometimes training partner, who finished second in 16:42.28.
"It was perfect running conditions where we had tailwinds for most of the race," said Frankel, a marketing analyst for emerging technologies who focuses on batteries. "The wind definitely helped."
Out-of-towners from the snow belt were the top finishers in the women's division with collegian Tricia Serres of Division III Luther College (Iowa) running away with first place in 18:34.39.
In town on a three-week physical therapy internship at the Debbie School on Miami Beach, Serres is a 1,500-meter track and field national champion.
"I wanted to run a race while I was in Florida and this was a fun way to do one," said Serres, a Wisconsin native. "It was windy, but a good day to run hard. I didn't know what the field was like, so I just went out to see if I could compete or be pushed along to run fast."
Sayaka Tiessen, 28, of Toronto, Canada, who arrived yesterday for a week-long stay with her triathlon club (19:25.35), finished second. The 28-year-old shared the lead with Serres for a short time.
"I saw her pass me within the first or second kilometer," said Tiessen, a physiotherapist on her first trip to Miami. "She looked like a gazelle. I said to myself that I just needed to run my own race and stick to my game plan and it paid off. This is a great race and a beautiful course."
Huberty is training to run his sixth Boston Marathon in April.
"I love the Miami Marathon weekend," said the ultra-hyper Huberty.
As he ran off for a cool down run, he felt so fresh that he was pondering a late entry into the Half Marathon on Sunday.
"I was planning on cheering tomorrow for friends and taking pictures," he said. "But you never know. Maybe you'll see me out there tomorrow. I'm not going to rule it out. (After this race) I feel very good."
TROPICAL 5K RESULTS
|1 || BRYAN HUBERTY || Miami Beach || 15:48.3|
|2 || DEAN FRANKEL || Miami Beach, || 16:42.3|
|3 || PEDRO MERAZ || || 17:03.2|
|4 || LEONARDO MARTINEZ || MEXICO CITY|| 17:11.6|
|5 || ANCEL JAMES || || 17:20.1|
|6|| NATE WALSH || Toronto || 17:28.5|
|7 || ALCIDES DE QUESADA || Hallandale || 18:00.6|
|8 || CHRIS CALIMANO || || 18:13.1|
|9 || ANDREW ALDERSON || || 18:22.8|
|10|| BRIAN SOLIS || Miami || 18:29.1|
|1 || TRICIA SERRES || Platteville, WI || 18:34.4|
|2 || SAYAKA TIESSEN || Toronto, Canada || 19:25.4|
|3 || MARGARET KLIMEK || || 20:10.6|
|4 || JOCELYN CARTER || Chicago || 20:16.0|
|5 || STELLA SHALEM || Miami Beach || 20:18.7|
|6 || FABIOLA MORALES || Miami || 20:33.3|
|7 || MIRANDA PRIESTMAN || West Palm Beach || 21:10.3|
|8 || OR GALO || Tegucigalpa, Honduras || 21:18.8|
|9 || MARLENE REYES || || 22:21.3|
|10 || YVONNE LEIPPERT || || 22:23.9|
About the Miami Marathon
The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race weekend with over 25,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 80 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003. Participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County. Race route map can be found at: TheMiamiaMarathon.com
About Life TimeSM, The Healthy Way of Life Company
Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive health and lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of January 17, 2016 the company operates 117 centers in 26 states and 34 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at LifetimeFitness.com.