Marathon

Monroe County Public Library

The old Seven Mile Bridge, right off the Overseas Highway in the Keys, hasn't been open to regular traffic since 1982. Now, part of the old bridge is getting a $38 million restoration.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In a lot of ways life has returned to normal in most of the Florida Keys. But one major institution – a hospital – is still operating out of temporary quarters after Hurricane Irma. 

More than 500,000 people finished at least one U.S. marathon in 2015, the last year for which the group Running USA has released its annual report. Almost half of those runners were at least 40 years old, a record high percentage.

Anyone can run a marathon, says exercise physiologist Susan Paul, but beginning runners should take it slowly — injuries are common among novices and experts alike.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The old Seven Mile Bridge hasn't carried car traffic since 1982.

But the span from Knight's Key to Pigeon Key has become a kind of linear park for the Middle Keys, offering spectacular sunset views.

  "We're fortunate to be able to have the bridge that we can walk out on," said Leslie Christensen of Marathon. "It think it attracts a lot of tourists and a lot of people like to come and take pictures. It's a real iconic part of Marathon."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  

The unassuming blue-green building in Marathon once housed a strip club. Now it is a modern medical facility on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine applied to sea turtles.

The Turtle Hospital started in the 1980s, in the motel next door. It started taking in sea turtles that had been hit by boats or tangled in fishing line. And it has always seen patients, especially green sea turtles, with fibropapilloma tumors.

But those numbers have been growing substantially in recent years.