Reggae and Running: A Unique Pair
Images courtesy of: Jamaica Tourist Board
When someone says they’re going to Jamaica for a vacation, you automatically think warm weather, beautiful beaches, delicious food and of course Bob Marley. While all those things are true, there’s a new attraction calling people to this gorgeous Caribbean island. The Reggae Marathon, Jamaica’s own premier international marathon event is getting lots of attention with over 3000 amateur and expert runners from all over the world. In 2014, over 150 Canadians made their way down south to participate in the race.
The Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K begin on Long Bay Beach Park which borders Negril’s famous 7-mile white sand beach. The course is mostly flat and is IAAF certified with 10K, half or full marathon options. The best part about the race is that it’s really fun. The race starts at 5:15 am under the Caribbean moon with Reggae music blasting each mile marker from either a live band or pumping out of speakers, encouraging runners to keep the pace. After you cross the finish line, you’re given a medal, coconut water, and of course, a Red Stripe beer. Runners then gather together at the beach bash party and awards ceremony where prizes are awarded. There are prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place male and female runners channeling the inner Usain Bolt. Even the festivities surrounding the event are a blast! The night before the JHTA throws a bash called, “The world’s best pasta party” dinner at the Couples Swept Away Sports Complex featuring live dance performances and reggae music that you can’t help but dance along to.
Going into its 15th year, the Reggae Marathon will take place on December 5th, 2015. Registration is $100 for the marathon, $95 for the half marathon and $70 for the 10K run. Will you be signing up? Ya mon!
[wzslider transition=”‘slide'” info=”true” lightbox=”true”]
Of course it’s not all about the race! In Negril, you won’t go hungry. Some of the best restaurants in Jamaica border the ocean in Negril. Pushcart Restaurant, known for their modern Jamaican cuisine, is located in the Rockhouse Hotel. This gem features an open kitchen, rum bar, and nightly live entertainment. Then there’s also the true community staple, Cosmos Seafood Restaurant and Bar. They specialize in fresh, local and authentic seafood dishes. Located right in the middle of 7-mile beach, guests often park here for an afternoon to enjoy the view while they dine al-fresco. You can’t miss the action at Rick’s Café! Rick’s is a great spot to grab a drink and watch 100’s of tourists and locals alike jump of one of the many cliffs surrounding the bar and land straight into the ocean only to emerge from the water eager to jump in again!
Negril is home to many beautifully chic hotels. There are lots of options that suit just about any type of traveller. The best bang for your buck, however, is the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa. Located in Montigo Bay, just 40 minutes from Negril, the Grand Palladium has everything one could need! With 7 restaurants, a world class spa facility and one of the largest pools on the island it’s the perfect spot to unwind after race day. If you’re looking to get out onto the blue and turquoise seas for a day, check out Dreamer Catamaran Cruise also in Montego Bay. Explore the coral reefs of the Montigo Bay Marine Park while listening to Bob Marley!
So yes, the post card perfect beaches, innovative cuisine, and all around good vacation vibes have been calling travelers to the island for years but the Reggae Marathon is giving people a new reason to visit!
For more information about the marathon visit: reggaemarathon.com