At Crossbridge Church Key Biscayne, people usually see Jay Correa hitting notes on a guitar, backed with a keyboard, drums, and vocalists. But Sunday, his band was a little bigger — the 24,000 runners who competed in the 20th Miami Marathon.
Correa, who’s dedicated much of his life to athletic competition, came in 2nd place for his age group of 55-59, with a time of 3 hours, 27 minutes. Overall, he was number 201 in the 26-mile contest that traversed Miami’s bridges Sunday morning.
Correa was one of 207 Key Biscayners who signed up to participate, an unusually-high number for a town the Village’s size, race officials said. They ranged in age from eight to 69 and were evenly split between men and women. About 50% of the race’s participants are from outside Florida.
But although he’s competed in Iron Man contests, Correa was a bit worried about how he’d perform. “I didn’t know how my body would react,” saying the course was super-hot and super humid. “It got a lot harder as the day went by.”
He said he faced a bit of a crisis on mile 23, when his shoulder started flaring up. He turned upward for help.
“Everything was hurting,” he said. “At that moment, I began to pray. I asked for the Holy Spirit to guide me and lead me.” He felt his prayers were answered when he got a burst of energy — and said that segment wound up being the fastest of the entire race.
Correa, 56, says he’s grateful Sunday’s finish will qualify him for the Boston Marathon in April.
Key Biscayne police said the road closures did not have much impact on island traffic.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.