The Original #MiamiFamous
Over the past 16 years of the existence of the current Miami Marathon, there was only just over 90 athletes who had run every single event. Before the inception of the Miami Marathon as we know it now (est. 2003), the race was originally known as the Orange Bowl Marathon which began in the late 1970s. One of our very own 16-year #MiamiFamous loyal runners, Kenneth Royster, has run every single marathon held in Miami. Yes, that means he has run every Miami Marathon held during the past 40 years – that’s what you call Miami loyalty!
A retired airline pilot from Miami, Royster started running in 1974 and has completed close to 100 marathons since his debut to the sport in 1977. He has completed numerous events across the country – 5Ks/10Ks, marathons, 50K trail races and about every distance in between. Back in the late 70s/early 80s, the medals resembled more of a coin shape (usually with no date) instead of the medal and neck ribbon type of award we see today.
The original Miami marathon has changed quite drastically over the years including changes to the event name, the medal designs, demographics, and a variety of routes year after year, to name a few. “I remember these lean times of less than 1000 runners, starting at Tropical Park and running through the uninspiring suburbs of southwest Miami”, Royster recalled. “I remember at least one starting on South Beach. The route changed several times. [T]he event was cancelled in 1995 and not held again until the modern era starting in 2003.”
Check out how the name has changed over the years!
1977 – 1986 Orange Bowl Marathon
1987 – 1988 American Savings Orange Bowl Marathon
1989 – 1994 Metro-Dade Marathon
1995 Doral-Ryder Metro-Dade Marathon
2003 – 2005 Toyota Prius Miami Tropical Marathon
2006 – 2013 ING Miami Marathon
2014 – 2017 Miami Marathon
2018 – present Fitbit Miami Marathon
Today the Fitbit Miami Marathon attracts over 20,000 runners from over 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Going on to the 17th year of the event we know today, race organizers are diligently planning to make 2019 even bigger and better than prior years. We are happy to welcome back Kenneth and his fellow #MiamiFamous loyalty runners back for their 17th consecutive partaking in the event, as well as many more veteran runners and first-timers!
Some of Royster’s rap sheet in his own words:
“I have run in each Miami Marathon since 2003 and have won or placed in my age division several times, including first place in the 65-69 age category in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I have also won or placed in my age division in the A1A Ft. Lauderdale Marathon numerous times, including two first place, five second place, and two third place finishes in the last ten years. Other events over the years, many with multiple years of completion include: Atlanta Marathon, Birmingham Marathon, New York City Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon (Washington, D.C.), Disney Marathon (Orlando), Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati), Kentucky Derby Marathon (Louisville), U.S. Navy Marathon (Pensacola), U.S. Airforce Marathon (Tampa), Green Mountain Marathon (Vermont), and the Boston Marathon. I have also placed in several 50k Trail Runs, including the Sunmart Texas Endurance Run and the Arkansas Midnight Trail Run. I was very proud to finish Boston last year  in under four hours at age 68.”