Herculean streak, lightning-fast handcyclist and other Miami Marathon notables

Among the thousands of participants who powered through the streets of Miami, Miami Beach and Coconut Grove in Sunday’s Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, was one of the most intriguing — and impressive — runners.

Mika Shevit of Sunny Isles Beach extended his almost unbelievable feat of GPS-documented consecutive days of running a half marathon to 1,033 — this one in 2:19:23.

Shevit, 49, a 6-3, 225-pound real estate broker who was featured in the Miami Herald in 2023, began his streak on April 1, 2021.

“The unachievable, Mt. Olympus, monster goal at first was 1,000 days in a row,’’ Shevit said. “But I feel great. My body is strong. And I still get joy from running.

“The Miami Marathon event is incredible. Every runner that lives in South Florida puts in the work during the demonic, torturous oven of a summer. So, the half marathon is like a celebration for me.’’

As usual, Shevit was recognized by many of the other participants.

“What slowed me down, other than the sun, was people taking selfies with me,’’ he said. “The heat took a lot out of me, but I powered through.’’

Shevit’s next milestone: April 1, 2024, his third anniversary of the streak.

Paralympic hopeful wins again

Four months after Brandon Lyons dove into shallow water and broke his back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, he finished a marathon. His family and friends gifted him a handcycle while still in the hospital, and he was immediately a natural.

That was nearly 10 years ago. On Sunday, the 33-year-old Lyons cruised past the competition in 1:09.59 to win the marathon handcycle division for the second year in a row. A member of the U.S. National Team, Lyons’ victory at the Miami Marathon was a stepping stone for something much bigger — the 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris.

“A lot more humidity,’’ Lyons said of this year’s race. “But I was familiar with the course, so I knew what to expect. Similar to last year, this was a good spot for me in our racing calendar with Team USA.”

Injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed Lyons’ chances of competing in the 2020 Summer Paralympics, which were pushed back to 2021. Lyons still has to qualify for the 2024 Games, which take place August 28 to Sep. 8, and he will have the opportunity to do so at the Belgium and Italy World Cups in May.

19-year-old Skyler Fisher won the half marathon race chairs in 49:57, nearly 17 minutes faster than the next competitor.

Solidarity for Israel

Spectators only needed to take one glimpse at the marathon’s combined field of 18,000 runners to see someone draped in an Israeli flag or supporting Israel in another symbolic way. Running clubs, including Team Lifeline and Aventura Runners, and individuals alike wore bibs depicting those kidnapped on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel.

“I just want all my family to be safe, and these people need to come home,” said Team Lifeline member Debra Wunder, whose nephew is a soldier in Israel.

Team Lifeline, the largest running team at the Miami Marathon, represents Chai Lifeline, which serves as the international children’s health network. It also helps provide emotional and social support to Israeli families.

Additionally, 10 Israeli soldiers were set to join Team Lifeline and run the Miami Marathon on Sunday. One of them — Moshe Marwick, 21 years old — was injured on Oct. 7 and spent two months recovering.

Kids Run

As part of the Life Time Kids Run Miami program, children from Miami-Dade county schools and elsewhere raced the last mile of the marathon. They began training in October 2023.

Juliette Tudela, 11, a fifth-grader from Our Lady of Lourdes, finished the mile in around 10 minutes.

“It was fun,” said Tudela, who wore blue knee socks, black, green and blue running shoes and a bright-blue headband with pom-poms for school spirit. “I liked when a bunch of people were cheering me on.”

Will Tudela ever run a full marathon?

“There’s a possibility for everything.”

Tony Kanaan ditches car

Among the half marathon’s notable runners was Brazilian race car driver Tony Kanaan. His career spanned 23 years in the IndyCar Series, winning its championship in 2004. Kanaan currently races in the Brazilian Stock Car Pro Series.

Kanaan is also a runner and cyclist who has competed in several triathlon and Ironman competitions. He finished Sunday in 2:04.13.

This and That

  • For the second year in a row, someone proudly waved a Trump flag on the MacArthur Causeway just before the Alton road exit. He received a mixture of applause and boos, which he sarcastically responded to with “Jealous?”

  • Maria Marin, a member of a Miami Beach inline skate club named Soberollers, does marathons on skates, including NorthShore Inline Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. But on Sunday, she hung up the skates and ran the Miami Marathon. She was greeted at the finish by three other club members, who rolled in and hugged her.

  • Valentina Libi had the phrase “For My Grandma” on her shorts as she completed her first Miami Marathon in honor of her grandmother, who recently had surgery. Libi’s father stood nearby at the finish with a custom shirt saying he was Valentina’s proud dad.

  • One man finished the race with a yellow, smiley-face balloon on his hat. He ran the first 25 miles without it and then enjoyed a much-needed break from running when someone gave it to him during the last mile.