Fresh from its 10th anniversary celebrations in December, the Jamdammers running Club of Kingston organizers of Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, are applauding the fact that the event has been once again recognised as one of the world’s best. Jamaica was recently mentioned in the weekly newspaper column “Glancing Askance” by Bedford New York writer Mark Wollin as one of the “top ten places to run a marathon”.
According to Wollin, Reggae Marathon provides the “wow” factor as “the locals line the route with their sound systems, pumping out Bob Marley to help [participants] keep pace.” Also mentioned were other “exotic” destinations such as Easter Island in Chile, the Big Five Marathon in South Africa and the Great Wall Marathon in Tanjin, China.
Race director for Reggae Marathon Alfred Francis, sees this recognition as a “great endorsement for the event and for Jamaica. We have always believed that if we can organise a quality marathon in a first class location we can attract the kind of attention to help transform it into a world class event. We are happy that we are on track for achieving that goal and it is very encouraging to be ranked among the best.”
Jamdammers Running Club president Emile Leiba sees the endorsement as a “Great way to kick off our campaign for 2011.” He said, “Coming on the heels of last year’s event, this is also a challenge for us to be even more aggressive in our organizational, marketing and promotional efforts.”
Leiba is also inviting increased support for the event from Jamaicans, especially government and the private sector. “Reggae Marathon is growing and improving every year. This latest endorsement underscores the tremendous potential for the event to become even bigger and better over the next ten years. This is the perfect time for sponsors and other supporters to get on board since this is not only about a marathon event but also about sports tourism and showcasing Jamaica’s beauty and diversity to the world.”
Plans are already underway for Reggae Marathoin 2011 which will be held in Negril on Saturday, December 3.