Penelope North’s Big Finish happened at 10:46 am on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at Reggae Marathon. After a horrifying and devestating injury many years ago when she was told she would never run again, that’s when she crossed the finish line at Reggae Marathon! Inspiring!! Let’s hear from her directly:
I went from this and some very silly Doctor telling me that I would never run again (well maybe for a bus he said) and definitely not another marathon … to this!!! He was wrong! Once a runner, always a runner. I did know that I would never do another 3.23 marathon as I did in Boston in 1994 after the terrible car accident the same year … so If I could not do a good time I decided to choose the marathon where I could HAVE the BEST TIME!! …. and I did. The Pasta Party alone was worth the entry fee! (I can eat and I love my food). This was first class, (all you could eat) food and entertainment. I stayed later than I should have considering I had to be up at 4am. However 4.30 am I was out on the beach road wearing my race number and almost immediately got picked up by one of the many free shuttle buses to the start.
The rest is a blur of nerves, excitement, tiki torches, drums, reggae music, running, sunrise, running, running, the sun, running, drinking more than I ever have in a race! I made a fab friend (Gina from Columbia) the last 8 miles, still running albeit pathetically and FINISHING in 5 hours 31 mins.
So proud and so happy to get my medal, my coconut and my Red Stripe. Massage on the beach wasn’t bad either whilst I waved at Gina having hers. I had finished a few minutes ahead of her but she came to find me for a photo. Oh and by the way I came first in my age group 55-60. (how many were in that age group is irrelevant!) The next day (the next 10 days) I laid on the beach, drank rum punch and swam in the sea and had a blast. As it that wasn’t enough I have invitations to run in Columbia and to go do the Vancouver Marathon! I will be back to Reggae Marathon though to try for 5 hours !!!
Penelope, truly an inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing. Keep on running; looking forward to seeing and running with you in Negril! Oh, here is one more photo of Penelope enjoying her Reggae Marathon Experience.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy (aka Sugar ‘Tuff Gong’ Bong)