Did you hear about the Reggae Marathon runner who made it to the start line 2 1/2 hours late? That’s the disaster that struck Reggae Marathoner Dan Cumming last December. And as the seasoned ‘make a silk purse out of a sows ear’ runner that he is, he ended up with one of the more interesting running accomplishments of 2011.
Dan and Reggae Marathon first connected in mid-2011 when he posted a picture of himself and his wife standing in the shallow surf on the beach in Negril in 1969. (Check out that photo from1969 below). From that start, he moved to become a semi-regular contributor on the Reggae Marathon blog. Dan is not only a seasoned runner, he’s a published author of both a book called ‘Running in the Zone’ and a blog by the same name. It’s great advice for seasoned and younger runners.
The pull of Negril and Reggae Marathon proved too much for Dan to resist. No surprise there…running in Negril is a special annual treat. Having made the decision to run in Reggae Marathon 2011, Dan and his wife Judi travelled all the way from British Columbia, Canada. They were here not only to run and walk, but to re-visit Jamaica after 42 years.
Disaster struck very early Saturday morning of the Reggae Marathon as Dan and Judi attempted to make their way to the 5:15 am start. When their promised transportation didn’t show up, they kept their heads and used a combination of taxi and ‘footing it’ to make it onto the course…well after the sun had come up and the Reggae Marathon had gotten underway. Undaunted, Dan began running. Given the time though, he chose to run only 10 K.
I know how I would have felt. I would have pouted and stomped about for a while making my wife miserable. Instead he decided to make a silk purse and just ran. He confused some of the other runners with his marathon race bib and apparent ‘super fast’ marathon time and you can imagine what the timing computer was recording when he hit the timing mats. But after he crossed the finish line, Dan got in touch with Reggae Marathon Race Director, Frano who made him a “Reggae Marathon Ambassador” on the spot and awarded him the 10K finishers medal.
I knew nothing of this while waiting for Dan to cross the finish line and only learned about the ‘experience’ when I caught up with him and Judi standing in the surf later in the morning with a big smile on their faces. “I got to vacation and run in Negril in December” he said. “What’s better than that?”. I have to agree. Dan, the blogger, wrote about his experience and it’s a great story. Check it out here: “How a shuttle bus driver saved this blogger’s life“.
42 years had passed since Dan and his wife Judi posed on the beach in Negril. While we are not sure if the 2011 picture was taken at the same place, it was close enough.
Until next time…
For more information on Reggae Marathon 2012, visit the Reggae Marathon Web Site. 2012 is the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.