Paul Josephson runs Marathons. Lots of them. It’s a fact…his email address says Paul runs marathons! Paul fell in love with Reggae Marathon years ago and this December 2 will be his 10th consecutive Reggae Marathon Experience!
“I lived in a number of places before I turned eight years old — not a military family, but my father, a nuclear engineer at the dawn of the nuclear age, was seeking the right fit. He eventually settled on Pittsburgh and Westinghouse where he worked on the design of reactors. So you could say I really come from a typical nuclear family. I consider Pittsburgh my home, and the Steelers my team (Gail, the owner at Treehouse is also from Pittsburg is a Steelers fan, I think). But I’ve been in New England since 1975 with brief stays elsewhere and also lived a few years on and off in Russia and Ukraine as part of my work. Having written books on the Arctic and on Siberia, I love Negril! Next life, I’m going study Jamaican culture, not Russian.
I’ve been running over 50 years, since I was 11 or 12. One Saturday, on an old black-and-white TV, I saw Jim Ryun, then a high school boy, become the first high schooler to break 4 minutes in the mile. I said, “I want to do that!” Of course, I lacked the ability or strength to do so. But I’ve always love running since and focused on 10KM and 10 mile races until I started to slow down, and then turned to marathons — and multiple marathons — as a goal. No longer can I have PRs — I’m going the other direction!
I heard about Reggae through the internet. I love the people, I love the hospitality, I love where I stay — always the Treehouse. This will be my 10th Reggae in a row. I wouldn’t miss it. Four years ago, 10 days before undergoing major gut reconstructive surgery, I ran my slowest Reggae marathon. I guess you could say that is a PR. Of sorts. My goal is 20 Reggaes — and 200 marathons overall. That may change. Yet there is always inspiration from fellow runners. A few years ago I met Burt Carlson at Reggae, then 83 years old and running his 301st marathon. Some people are crazy. I’m just normal crazy.
I’m coming to Negril with friends. We come from all over the States. I’ve flown in to Jamaica for a 4 day weekend from Europe to run Reggae. Over the first few years I met a few people on the shuttle from Montego Bay, at the hotel, at dinner, and we’ve become close. Without them, I’m not sure I’d run every year. They are my strength and I love them.
Until a few years ago the marathon wasn’t two loops, but one long run out to Green Island and back. It was a hard course and there were a few hills. I was disappointed with the change to two loops. Now I’m used to it and prefer it — there’s good support and it’s easier to keep focused. But I do miss the goat I saw out there on the way to Green Island, in 2011, with an egret on his back.”
10 Reggae Marathons in a row is quite the feat Paul and your goal of 20 is impressive. Looking forward to seeing you on the beach and on the road in December.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy (aka Sugar ‘Tuff Gong’ Bong)