Its 5:15 am on December 3, 2011 at the Reggae Marathon Start line at Long Bay Beach Park in Negril. The Marathon, ½ Marathon and 10K runners are throbbing with excitement and the beat of LOUD Reggae music. Promptly at 5:15 am Race Director Frano fires the starter pistol and Reggae Marathon 2011 is underway.
The fun of the Reggae Marathon is the combination of running and vacation. For most of us the week spent in Negril before and after the race is what makes the Reggae Marathon special. Here aresome things to keep in mind while planning for the trip:
- Book your travel plans now for Reggae Marathon 2011. While there are a number of excellent hotels along the 7 mile Negril beach they do fill up with runners and their families. Check these two sites for links to the hotels in Negril: Reggae Marathon Hotels and Jamaica Tourist Board Negril Hotels.
- Plan to arrive in Negril by Thursday, December 1. The Race Expo opens on Thursday at 1 pm at the Couples Swept Away Sports Complex and you can pick up your race kit early. Plus you’ll have a couple of days to run in Negril prior to the race on Saturday.
- As well on Thursday morning around 9 am Bob Moore of Run Washington is planning a fun run…it’ll be a great way to meet fellow runners and check out the Reggae Marathon route. More details later.
- NEW for Reggae Marathon 2011 is the new route: 2 loops of the ½ Marathon course. More music, crowds and fun. Details coming soon.
- Friday, December 2 of course is the Pasta Party at Couples Swept Away Sports Complex. It starts at 5:30 pm. The Race Expo is also open from 10 am on Friday and will be in full swing by early afternoon. Look for us in and around the Media Tent on Friday afternoon.
- Getting from your hotel to the Pasta Party / Race Expo before race day is relatively easy given that many hotels are within walking distance. As well local cabs and taxis are plentiful and can be flagged down simply by walking out to the road from your hotel. Taxi prices are very reasonable and the drivers will get you there quickly.
- Getting to the Start/Finish area on race day is even more convenient. I recommend walking to the race from your hotel if you can. I love the feeling of walking in the cool morning before dawn with other runners. Free shuttles run along the beach providing transportation from the beach hotels as well since the road is closed to regular traffic. Check on all this at the Race Expo.
- Get to the Start/Finish area at Long Bay Beach Park by 4:30 am. I know it’s early but you’ll love the pre-race buzz. There are washrooms and a bag check area close to the Start/Finish line and the opportunity to get loose before the start. Most hotels also have coffee and light breakfasts set up for runners early as well.
- This is VERY important: the race starts promptly at 5:15 am. I’m not kidding about this. Race Director Frano has not been late in the 10 years since the Reggae Marathon started and I don’t think he plans to be late this December.
- There is Reggae music at every mile marker along with bagged water and Gatorade. The bags make it easy to drink frequently and get both water and electrolytes efficiently.
- Three things to remember at the finish: get your medal, hit the misting tent to cool down and grab your fresh cut coconut. I especially love the taste of the fresh coconut water and it’s an excellent recovery drink.
- Stick around Long Bay Beach Park for a post-race massage on the beach and of course the Awards Party. Really good live entertainment and a good time.
For a more detailed schedule, check here: Reggae Marathon Events.
This is my 3rd Reggae Marathon and I’m really looking forward to meeting and running with you all. If you have any questions, leave a comment or send us an email directly at [email protected]. See you in Negril December.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy