KINGSTON, Jamaica – From all indications, the 14th staging of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10 K in Negril on December 6, may see a record turnout of Jamaicans to the event.
This, according to organizers the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston, is the projection based on the increasing number of local entrants that are now registering on-line. “While it will be a few more weeks before the close of registration, we can safely say that Jamaicans are busy booking their places for the Reggae Marathon event, “said Jamdammers member and race director, Alfred “Frano” Francis.
According to Francis, the growing interest in the event “is no doubt due to the increasing awareness of the importance of maintaining good health, and the emphasis that more persons are placing on fitness as part of their healthy lifestyle programmes.” He said people’s interest and commitment can be seen in the turnout for the many road races that are now an integral part of the local sporting calendar. “If you check the schedule, there is at least one long distance race taking place somewhere in Jamaica in any given month. People are also out in their numbers in the early mornings in some communities running or walking to ensure that they are in good shape.”
Francis said it is these persons who are attracted to Reggae Marathon as “they want to have the ultimate experience of participating in a marathon event.”
He explained that entrants are also finding it easier to register for the marathon “as we have revamped our website and those who visit will find that it is now much more straightforward and easier to navigate. We are always upgrading and making an effort to ensure that the site is user friendly, information is readily available and the registration process is as seamless as possible.”
The race director also said that more attention will be paid this year to runner / walker care. ‘We have an exceptional team of healthcare professionals who make their services available each year and for this event we are making an even bigger effort to ensure that those who participate receive the best attention possible.”
Recently appointed President of the Jamdammers Running Club Kaysia Johnson said there is also the possibility that there will be a good showing from the overseas entrants. “The numbers there are also encouraging and we look forward to welcoming the usual groups and individuals who are always anticipating the Jamaican marathon experience at this time of year,” she said.
She added, “As is customary we are also working with the Negril Chapter of the JHTA and the members have assured us that there will be special hotel packages available for both local and overseas visitors to Negril. Bookings can be made through Divine Tours at [email protected]. ” She said special arrangements for transportation from Kingston to Negril are also being made with Knutsford Express.