A record number of local and international runners from over 35 countries across the globe are expected to participate in the 15th Anniversary and celebratory staging of Reggae Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K event set for December 3 to 5, 2015 in Negril. Among the first-time countries registered to participate are: Saudia Arabia and Suriname.
The largest group which has already registered is Reggae Runnerz, which comprises 433 runners and about 100 cheerleaders from various running groups across the USA who have come together to “Run Where the Sun Meets the Sea” in Negril.
Reggae Runnerz started with a group of 17 runners who met on facebook in 2012. A year later they returned to Reggae Marathon with friends as a group of 180, which increased to 200 last year. For this contingent, Reggae Marathon is more than a race; it is their way of closing out the year by participating in the Jamaican event, while enjoying the island’s beautiful beaches, the Jamaican hospitality and catching up with friends from across the world.
A number of groups from Belgium, Canada, Germany and the USA will be returning for the third consecutive year, while it will be first Reggae Marathon for the Cancer Support Group from Ann Arbour in Michigan, USA. In fact, many of the charity groups have decided to use the event as a fund-raiser or their respective organizations.
According to Diane Ellis, Sponsorship Manager for Reggae Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K, members of the Reggae Rebels have specially chosen to stay at the small hotels in Negril, so they can get to enjoy a holistic Jamaican experience.
She said on-line registration at this time, compared to last year is 28 per cent higher. On-line registration closes on December 1, 2015, while only mail entries postmarked November 27, 2015 will be accepted.
Registration and collection of runner packages will take place at the Couples Swept Away Sporting Complex on Thursday, December 3 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Friday, December 4 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Over the two days, the organizers will have a mini-expo at the complex to include art and craft and race-related products.
On Friday night the JHTA ‘World’s Best Pasta Party’ – considered the best of its kind internationally – will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with an extensive offering of pasta dishes created to impress by chefs from Negril. The pasta party is a feature of international marathons where runners stock up on carbohydrates in readiness for the race the following morning. This year’s three-hour event, which will also be in celebration of Reggae Marathon’s 15th Anniversary, will feature live music by the Silver Bird Steel band, together with a circus act which promises to be exciting, in addition to cabaret performances by Negril’s finest acts.
The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K start at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 5 at Long Bay Beach, situated along Negril’s famed seven-mile white sand beach. That will be followed by the Finish Line Beach Bash, Victory Beach Party & Awards Ceremony set to take place from 7 a.m. to 12 noon at Long Bay Beach Park.
The course, which will remain open for 7 hours, will loop into the town of Negril, then head north towards the town of Green Island, returning to Long Bay Beach Park – venue for the start and finish of the races.
There will be water/aid stations every mile – 25 in total – which will be manned by experienced marathoners and enthusiastic volunteers. At every mile post there will be cooling stations with misters and iced towel wraps and inspirational Reggae music at every mile. Medical stations will also be positioned along the course and staffed by a premier multi-disciplinary medical team, with a helicopter on call for airlift to hospital.
The event is sanctioned by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the marathon course is certified by IAAF and AIMS to international standards. It is organized by The Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston, in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board; The Negril Chapter of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA); the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA); The Negril Chamber of Commerce; The Ministry of Health and volunteers from Negril & Green Island & the Jamdammers running Club.
For further information, contact: Carmen Patterson, Corporate Image & Solutions Limited – 978 4330/978 4333