Most adventures in Negril revolve around the beach. And why not? With miles of soft white sand and crystal clear water, the beach is the reason we love Negril. That and running in Reggae Marathon of course. But there are adventures beyond the beach…everything from golf, rum plantation tours and nature tours. Jamwest Motorsport and Adventure Park, one of our Partners is another great adventure option for things to do after Reggae Marathon
Get your adrenaline flowing: Pilot an ATV, go horseback riding, try the zipline and if you need to really crank it up, get out on the race track to hone your race driving skills.
With apologies to the author of the original, the early bird at Reggae Marathon saves dollars! Up until July 31, save on your registration fee for the Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K. And who doesn’t like to save money? Just look for the big‘Register Now’ button on our home page!
I’ve had Sunday, December 8, 2019 in my calendar since last year. That’s the date of Reggae Marathon this year. Registering for Reggae Marathon and putting it in my calendar is my biggest motivation to get out and run on those mornings when hitting the snooze button seems like the better idea. I think about all the race weekend activities starting with the Pasta Party Saturday night and before I get to the Post-race beach fun I’m up, ready to run!
The Pasta Party is not just for carbo loading. There’s live entertainment in addition to the multiple food stations. Get there early (around 5:30 pm) to give yourself time to take it all in.
I love the Pasta Party for another reason as well: It’s usually the first time I get together with my running friends from around the world! Absolutely nothing beats meeting and eating together at the Pasta Party. It’s a highlight of my Reggae Marathon Experience every year.
Recently I’ve been mulling over a statement I heard, from a runner of all people. It went like this, “I look terrible when I run’.
Thankfully I was able to withhold my immediate reaction and response. I love running and have been running now for over 30 years. Something about that statement dragged me back to my early running days when I had a similar feeling. Back then I had no one to talk to and beat myself up unnecessarily about my running form. My insecurities held me back…it took many years of stops and starts before I learned to love running. I wanted to help that runner avoid much of that wasted time.
So I’ve been ruminating. And I think I have the answer. Deceptively simple actually: There is no one way to run!
For the Elite runners, those with low body fat, small and light frames, high leg kicks and rapid leg turn over, there may be only one way to run. And those of us not blessed with that physique can drive ourselves crazy when we see them effortlessly turn over mile after mile at sub-5 minute pace. I know I did. I’m much ‘stockier’ with shorter legs. In trying to emulate those elite runners I’ve needlessly injured myself. Multiple times: Strains, sprains, broken bones!
Additionally in trying run in that one way, I’ve been uncomfortable. Erratic breathing to start…never really recovering. Short run!
So no, there is really no one one way to run. If you can you lace up a pair of running shoes you’re a runner!
Next year, 2020 we celebrate 20 years of Reggae Marathon! Wow! Where did that time go? Mark the date for Reggae Marathon 2020: Sunday, December 6. The location? Our favourite place of course, Long Bay Beach Park in Negril!
There are a few Reggae Marathoners who have been to quite a few Reggae Marathons. We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If 2020 will be your first Reggae Marathon, you’ve picked a great year to join us. Stay tuned for news on what we have planned.
Keep following us online on our Social Media Channels, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for news and information about Reggae Marathon, 2019 and especially 2020!December 6, 2020: 20 years of Reggae Marathon. Woo hoo!!
Ahh…just 5 more months to go to the 2019 Reggae Marathon, Sunday, December 8! “Warp Speed Mr. Scott…we have no time to dawdle”. With apologies to Trekkies!
Yes we still have the summer ahead of us for some glorious running without layers and layers. Then the fall with cooler temperatures. And of course Thanksgiving where we promise ourselves not to overeat! But with a focus on celebrating on the beach after finishing the 2019 Reggae Marathon, the next 5 months will fly by! Woo, hoo!! Grab a coconut, head to beach…this is about as good as it gets!
Experiencing Reggae Marathon is one of those things that is hard to pin down. Over the years hours of endless discussion and debate and still no definitive answer. But with the 2019 Reggae Marathon less than 5 months away (Sunday, December 8), let’s give it another go.
I think about Reggae Marathon all year. OK, I’m spoiled. I have a great gig in interacting with many of you throughout the year. You share your running stories and experiences on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Some of you even rock the Reggae Marathon T Shirt at a race! I especially love those photos and stories. You may miss a day or two not thinking about Reggae Marathon…I think about being in Negril in December every day! Not a hardship!!
And that location! Negril! Miles of white sand beach on the most western tip of Jamaica. A little remote, a lot special! Even when we all gather in December it feels like we each have discovered our own little piece of paradise. It never gets old or tired. I started going to Negril with my family from a very young age. We picnicked and swam at Long Bay Beach Park. When I came to Reggae Marathon for the first time after years of separation, it felt like coming home! Negril will do that to you…just ask any of the regular Reggae Marathoners.
The race. There’s something about that 5:15 am start time that keeps you coming back for more. I’ve run countless road and trail races and triathlons and it’s always butterflies at the start. But no other race gets me so pumped up that waking at 3:30 am on a Sunday morning to go running is the most exciting thing to do. Even though I go to bed by 9 pm after returning from the Pasta Party, the butterflies keep me awake much of the night. And I don’t mind…I’m already thinking about this December!
Gathering in the dark before the start with loud reggae music playing on the sound system. The drums start up adding to the cacophony…it’s madness and I love it!
Reggae Marathon has one of the best finish chutes I can think of. The final 25 metres is on grass and is approached by veering slightly right from the paved road. I could talk about that short distance endlessly. Music is playing, volunteers stand just beyond the finish timing mats with your Finisher Medal then it’s a short walk to the Beach! Ahh…that Beach. My Reggae Marathon Experience hits the zenith on the Beach. Wading out into the sea minutes after finishing is the one thing that I talk about most frequently. The Pasta Party, running in the dark, Finisher Medal…all nice to have. Swimming in the beach after finishing…Love, love, love!
So…will you be joining us to make your own Reggae Marathon Experience for the first time this December 8? Or will you be returning to add to your story? Either way, we all look forward to meeting up with you for the 2019 Reggae Marathon Experience.
Summer’s here! My favourite time of year for running: Summer running!
Outside of Jamaica, most of us need to ‘layer up’ to run outside for the better part of the year. Base layer, insulation, wind jacket, toque, gloves! Some days the chore of suiting up almost takes the fun out of running outside. Banish those memories now that summer is here in those northern climates…T shirt, hat, shorts (or tights if you prefer) then slip on the running shoes and we’re good to go.
Running in the summer is great practice for Reggae Marathon. Stock up on summer running experiences to keep you going through the fall when cooler temperatures return. As always, it’s important to run safely. Here are a few tips for summer running:
Wear a hat. Especially if you’re running mid-day or even early evening.
Run early morning or evening when the sun is lower in the sky and the temperatures are cooler
Stay hydrated. Especially on long runs. Water is generally good enough for workouts under an hour but keep electrolytes in mind as well.
Dress appropriately. A technical top is best since the material allows sweat to evaporate quickly. Stay away from cotton products that get wet and stay wet
Hydrate after. Depending on how much you sweat, you need to replenish fluids immediately after a run.
For other tips on how to enjoy summer running safely, here’s a good article: Summer Running.
Lining up for the 5:15 am start of Reggae Marathon is the start of a beautiful experience!
Pitch black except for the twinkling starts and a full moon (if we’re lucky) as we make your way to Long Bay Beach park. The street lights string out along Norman Washington Boulevard, the paved road that is the closed-to-traffic Reggae Marathon course. Bright flood lights illuminate the Start/Finish Area…when Race Director Frano sends us off just follow the runner or walker in front of you.
In the Start Coral, follow these guidelines to have your best race experience, and help those around you do the same:
Check the pace markers at the side of the coral and line up accordingly. If you’re a 10 min/mile runner, don’t line up with those running 8 minute miles. It is hotter in Jamaica…you will NOT run at the same pace as back home. You may go out fast and this rookie mistake will come back to bite you around mile 4.
If you’re walking, start at the back of the coral. Think about it: If you start in front of a runner, they are going to have to pass you. And in the dark just after the start this just adds unnecessary drama.
Don’t walk 5 abreast. Just don’t!
Don’t stop suddenly on the course. If you have to stop, move over to the right side of the road/course, check behind you, then slow down and stop. The runners behind you will appreciate it!
Seifies are great. Just not in the middle of a race course. Follow #4. Seriously though, there will be lots of opportunities for selfies after you finish.
Even after countless races I still get butterflies at the start of a race. And that is a good thing! It keeps me coming back for more.
It’s 5:05 am and we’re jostling excitedly in the start corral at Reggae Marathon. It’s pitch black but the overhead flood lights do a decent job of lighting up the start line. Beyond that…darkness! If you’re a first-timer to Reggae Marathon there is the concern about running in the dark. Two bits of advice: Stay focused on running…not stopping to take selfies or running 3 or 4 abreast. The street lights provide enough illumination for the first 45 minutes until the sun starts to break the horizon to the east. Second, stay on the road. It may be tempting to pass somebody by moving to the right off the road but you run the risk of injury from the uneven roadside surface.
It’s now 5:12 am. The music seems to have gotten louder. Runners are checking their GPS watches to make sure they’re ready to hit start when they cross the start line. Reggae Marathon like most sanctioned races is chip timed. You will cross multiple timing mats along the course and your finish time will be your actual running time from start mat to finish mat. Old habits die hard though…I always press start as I cross the mats.
It’s 5:14 am and Race Director Frano is on a platform on his megaphone right at the start line. His last minute reminders include running safely and to have a good race. By this time the butterflies are flapping wildly and I have a big grin on my face. Promptly at 5:15 am Frano gives the signal and with a couple of final high 5’s we’re off.
For the first 100 metres or so I focus on my pace. It’s 10K, or 21.1K or 42.2K…not a 100 meter sprint. I remind myself not to make the rookie mistake of going out too quickly. For the first mile or so we run across the full width of the road. Around that point we are guided to the right and we stay that way to the end of all three events. By then the butterflies have flown, I’ve got my race pace and breathing under control…now it’s a cruise to the Finish!
Local early bird registration date for the 2019 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K has been extended by one month to August 31, 2019. Registration remains open at www.reggaemarathon.com
Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K is set for December 8, 2019 in Negril and continues to attract runners and walkers from across Jamaica and over 38 different countries. The internationally certified event is in its 19th year and continues to grow. Registration for the event includes bib tag timing, a commemorative runner shirt and gym sack, as well as a specially designed 2019 finisher’s medal.
According to Diane Ellis, Sponsorship Director of Reggae Marathon, the team took the decision to allow potential participants in this year’s event more time to take advantage of the discounted rate.
“The number of races on the island continues to grow, with an average of two road races per month held so far this year. Repeat participants in most of the races tend to respond to the next event and may need to be reminded that they can gain from registering early for the last local race of the year,” Ms Ellis explained.
One of the highlights of this year’s Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K is the fact that the race has joined four other Caribbean marathons to form the Five Island Challenge, sponsored by the Atlanta Life Insurance Company of USA.
The other marathons are: Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend; Run Barbados Marathon Weekend; Bermuda International Race Weekend and Cayman Islands Marathon & Half Marathon Relay.
The organisers of the Five Island Challenge, the CES Corporation, said the new challenge is 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/or half- marathons within a three-year period, starting with the December, 2019 races, of which Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K is one. 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.
For more information on the early bird rate and the Five Island Challenge visit: www.reggaemarathon.com.