Destination Races are the perfect balance for an avid runner who wants to get a race in on their holiday while fitting in the annual family vacation.
Flying south for the winter to Jamaica to have fun in the sun is practically on everyone’s travel wish list, so what if you could have your beach and run it too? Now in its nineteenth year, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K has a well-deserved reputation for being a great organized and fun event that attracts locals and visitors, marathoners and first-timers alike from over 35 countries across the globe.
This year, the event will celebrate an epic milestone of the 20th anniversary of the event on December 6th.
Beginning on December 6th, Registration and Package collection begin at the world-class, award-winning Couples Swept Away Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Getting everyone sorted continues on Saturday and culminates in the much talked about ‘World’s Best Pasta Party’ where carb-loading takes on a life of its own and makes a great excuse to get the fun going. Good music, great food and a lot of anticipation for the next day’s event set the mood, wrapping at 8:30 p.m. to ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep and an energized start the next morning.
The Reggae Marathon has a strong reputation for always beginning on time and even spectators are at the starting line for 5:15 a.m. as each group heads out from Long Bay Beach Park, running a course parallel to Negril’s world-famous seven-mile stretch of white sand and beach.
The flat course offers beautiful vistas as it loops through the town centre of the ‘Capital of Casual’ and heads north to Bloody Bay and back to Long Bay Beach Park for the finish. Aid Stations are located at every mile with misters and ice packs on hand and much-loved reggae hits setting the mood mile after mile. As each group reaches Long Bay, it’s tradition for everyone who completes the 10k, half marathon or marathon to head into the crystal clear Caribbean sea to cool off, as the shoreline is just steps away from the finishing line. Triumphant grins can be seen on everyone’s faces as they cool off in the waters under the beautiful early morning sun, brandishing their medals and congratulating each other. All newcomers are made to feel welcome while many other participants have returned year after year, all contributing to the strong camaraderie felt throughout the event.
The event appeals to serious marathoners, with a Certified IAAF and AIMS course meeting international standards, well-equipped aid stations with premier multi-disciplinary medical staff and closed lanes for runners. The seasoned local contingent along with visitors of a similar calibre allows for good pacing. For a first time long-distance attempt, the flat course and general atmosphere, as well as the course being open for 6 hours, allows for an inviting and memorable milestone marker in your own calendar of running events.
Crossing the finish line, taking a therapeutic and refreshing splash in the sea and replacing all those electrolytes with fresh coconut water straight from the coconut, nature’s best way to rehydrate, could seem like an epic way to end your run. It gets even better. The Victory Party gets started from 7 a.m. right there on Long Bay Beach on the shores by the sea, with the awards, trophies and prizes being handed out as everyone chills, encourages others as they cross the line and congratulate each other all while making friends.
Talk about bragging rights as you blow up your social media with epic posts from one of the most beautiful spots on the planet!
All make for a truly epic answer to when people ask you what you did over your Christmas holiday. You’ll get to show off your medal, tell the story of your combined island vacation with a great sporting event, your new Personal Best, your new friends from Jamaica and all over the world, and then, of course, begin making plans for next December and your next run in the sun.
For a truly unique experience for any running enthusiast, a destination race vacation is a way to have it all. And the best part? After the run, Negril’s beach, bars, laid back nightlife, good food and fun in the sun are there for your continued enjoyment.
For more information on this event and to register check out www.reggaemarathon.com!
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