Marcela Nishi is looking forward to her first ING half marathon on Sunday.
She was never into running until she was inspired by a co-worker.
“I started running in August with a group and have been training since. So I kind of took it up and just started running” said 42-year-old Nishi.
The ING Marathon has grown dramatically since the first race 10 years ago. The number of entries is up about 20 percent since last year.
A record 25,000 runners have signed up. They started picking up their packets this afternoon at the Nissan Health and Fitness Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
There are participants from all 50 states and 79 different countries.
“Probably 30 percent of our field this will be their first time running a half marathon or full marathon,” said race director Dave Scott.
Bruce Wilk is a physical therapist who owns Runner’s High in Pinecrest. On Friday, he was prepping Marcela on nutrition and hydration before and during the race.
"A bagel and peanut butter and a glass of water or two before the race but not five,” said Wilk.
He says novice marathoners make common mistakes that can be dangerous, like drinking too much water before the race.
“If we excrete too much water they day before the race our sodium levels go down and that can be disastrous,” he said.
Blood sugar can also come crashing down. He recommends gels and chewables to replenish lost sugar and sodium during the race.
Marcela Nishi is ready to go.
“Running the whole way, and I’m sure I’m going to be taking some walk breaks in between but that’s the plan for now, “ Nishi said.
If you haven’t pre-registered like these folks it’s too late. The 5 K, full and half marathons are all sold out. The race begins at 6:15 a.m. Sunday morning in front of the AmericanAirlines Arena.