With just over a month to go to Reggae Marathon 2017 Dec 2, things are speeding up with preparations in Negril. In the photo above, those are some of the members of the Reggae Marathon Team at the 2017 Launch Press Conference Tuesday. In making the announcement at a Media Launch on October 24 at the Alhambra Inn, Race Director, Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis noted that last year’s staging of the annual sporting event by the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston received the most recognitions from runners and walkers over the 16 years of staging. In addition, there were accolades from international professional sporting magazines and associations as a calendar event of high international standards.
The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K race event was selected among the Best Half Marathons around the world in 2016. The award was the result of a survey among members of the 100 Half Marathons Club, based in the USA. This is a racing club of members who have completed 100 lifetime Half Marathons, with some members completing up to 300.
In addition, the annual event received the nod from more than 24,000 readers of the UK-based Women’s Running and Men’s Running magazines. They decided that Reggae Marathon was the Men’s Running International Race of the Year and a ‘Highly Commended’ event in the Women’s Running International Race of the Year category.
Votes were invited by the combined Women’s Running and Men’s Running magazines’ Reader Vote Awards 2017, which covered the best products and best brands in the sport.
Social media commendations were also received earlier this year when the event’s blog was selected by the prestigious blog.feedspot as one of the Top 50 marathon blogs on the worldwide web. Thousands of top marathon blogs on the blog.feedspot index were judged using search and social metrics.
“We are very pleased to advise that to-date runners and walkers from over 32 countries have registered to participate on December 2 and we are looking forward to an even more outstanding staging,” Mr. Francis said.
He noted that the 2017 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K has been chosen as the culmination race in the successful national Jamaica Moves Corporate Challenge, led by the Ministry of Health.
“This choice by the Ministry validates all our previous efforts to have Corporate Jamaica use the event as a platform to build a healthy workforce, while increasing productivity through camaraderie and team building at the workplace, thereby reducing the pressure on the island’s health system,” Mr. Francis noted.
He announced plans to move the staging of the annual event in 2018 to a Sunday, instead of the usual Saturday race day.
“We took the decision to host next year’s sporting event on Sunday, December 2, to ease the effect of the road closure in Negril and also to allow more persons to attend by giving those who have to work up to Friday the opportunity to arrive in Negril on the Saturday”, he said.
The event’s world renowned Pasta Party is back at the Swept Away Sports Complex this year. Also, runners and the general public can enjoy the sounds of the award-winning reggae band Raging Fyah at the Beach Bash Victory Party at Long Bay Beach Park, on December 2.
Reggae Marathon’s charity partner is the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and the event continues to encourage runners and walkers to raise funds for the organisation through participation in the event. In addition, the donation of six computers to the winning schools in the 10K High School’s Championship is on-going.
Mr. Francis also announced that as of this year, the event will each year award the Chairman’s Trophy in honour of the late Barclay Ewart to the winning Negril hotel team in the 10K event. He also revealed that no Jamaican has been able to break the event’s race record in all race events of the Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K and the organisers, the Jamdammers Running Club’s offer to double the prize money of any Jamaican breaking those records still stands.
Lots more to share over the next month as we close in on Race Day and first up a sneak peak at the 2017 T Shirts…
Yes they’ll be colourful…aren’t they always. Got my hands on this and couldn’t resist sharing.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy (aka Sugar ‘Tuff Gong’ Bong)