“The 9th running of the Negril Marathon/Half thon was an excellent event. I am a mid-pack runner having run over 300 road races including 23 marathons and over 50 half thons and the Jamaica Reggae Marathon was above average for many reasons.
First of all, it was in Jamaica! IRIE! You cant beat the venue. The course was flat and it was an out and back where you got to see the leaders in front and who was in back of you as well. There was plenty of water and Gatorade on the course. These were given out in small plastic bags which was easy to drink from, but beware of stepping on a half full bag of water, they are slippery like a banana and in the darkness you cant see them.
Secondly the weather was real nice, warm, but nice. I chose to run the half because I was on VACATION! The early start facilitates running in the darkness before the sun comes up. The sun rose about 90 minutes after the start, but there was plenty of large trees giving the course shade well into another hour of running. The sun does get hot after it clears the trees, so if you aren’t used to the heat, best finish in under 2:30 hours. It was warm, much like south Florida in June, but not unbearable.
The package pickup was smooth. There were plenty of volunteers and they were actually all helping people instead of standing around talking to each other while runners waited in line. There were good race shirts/products for sale at reasonable prices at the pickup as well. The “Rhasta Pasta” party was very unique. There was traditional pasta but also some special island past too; too spicy for my taste, but very tasty. Half way thru the pasta party, they ran out of water however and if you were thirsty, you were forced to purchase soda. The lines were a little long as well.
After the race, there were plenty of fluids and fruits, some cookies too, but that was all. The medal was very nice and unique, definitely a keeper for me to display for years to come. I plan on going to Jamaica again maybe next year, and when I do, I will go to Negril and run this race again.”