If you’re a seasoned, newbie or aspiring runner, or an avid walker, and you’re also a lover of travel and adventure – this event in Negril, Jamaica is a must.
On December 8, people from all over the world will converge in Negril at the annual Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K.
Held annually over an unbelievable 19 years, each year runners and walkers venture out to participate in one of the races and indulge in Jamaican culture, sun, sand and sea. A full weekend affair if one chooses, festivities begin the evening before the big race day, and ends post-race with ample opportunity to either jump right into the clear blue waters along Negril’s famous seven mile beach or get a massage by the seaside.
A Runner’s Story
Think you can’t commit to doing the Reggae Marathon because of your age or anything else? Well, read on…
Dell Wong fell in love with running when she was 60 years old. After completing her first 5K in a slow but steady hour – a time that she has since slashed in half – that year she went on to also do her first Reggae Marathon Half Marathon and was thrilled.
Since then, she has laced up her shoes and participated in the event every single year, except for in 2017 when she underwent unexpected eye surgery. However, instead of dropping out of the race altogether, Wong decided instead to walk the entire way – a feat she holds with great pride.
Wong says that she’s serious, passionate and very dedicated to running. She’s currently preparing for the full Reggae Marathon in 2019, and believes this will be her last full marathon before retiring to just doing the half.
“Reggae Marathon has changed my life for the better. It has helped to melt my shyness – as I now easily smile and chat with others on the route, as if I knew them long ago. Everyone is one big happy family.”
Along the run, Wong says, the camaraderie among the participants who hail from 40 different countries, allows her to forget where she’s at in the race and gives her the energy to cross the finish line.
She is a reminder that we all can do anything are heart desires, no matter what age or how challenging.
Five Island Running Challenge
If you’re like Wong – a serious, die-hard runner – and you’re up for a special full Caribbean challenge, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K has joined four other Caribbean marathons to form the Five Island Challenge.
Along with the Reggae Marathon, Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend, Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, Bermuda International Race Weekend, and Cayman Islands Marathon & Half Marathon Relay, have all joined forces to encourage distance runners from across the world to thread their way through the palm trees and beaches of the various islands, while enjoying a fun ‘runcation’.
“We at Reggae Marathon are excited to be a part of this challenge as it is bringing a welcome synergy to regional marathon events and competitiveness,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, Race Director of Reggae Marathon.
To successfully complete the challenge, runners must finish each of the five marathons and half- marathons within a three-year period, starting with the December 2019 races. Past participation in any of the events also qualifies, as some of the marathon events will be held on overlapping dates.
Once the series is completed, runners will receive a special finisher’s medal.