With just over a month to go before this year’s Reggae Marathon, running enthusiasts are getting ready for what is expected to be another stellar event. The crystal clear waters of Negril’s Seven Mile Beach will serve as the backdrop for Jamaica’s premiere endurance event, Reggae Marathon, being staged from December 1-3, 2016. Now in its 16th year, the annual marathon, half marathon and 10k run provide participants with a live sound track of the island’s beloved reggae music along the course.
“As the great reggae legend Bob Marley once said, ‘Let’s get together and feel alright.’ This is what participants will do the first weekend in December when they converge in Negril,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “They will get an authentic Jamaican experience and see what makes Jamaica a favorite destination. Our continued sponsorship of Reggae Marathon underscores our commitment to sports tourism and the diversification of our offerings to visitors.”
The course, which is mostly flat is IAAF-certified. The race begins at the Long Bay Beach Park, located along Negril’s famed seven-mile beach, loops into Negril town, then heads north towards Green Island and ends at Long Bay Beach Park. Some of the race’s unique aspects include the enthusiastic supporters who come out to cheer, while each mile features pulsating reggae music, keeping participants in an “irie” spirit as they burn the miles. Race events get a kick-start with a fuel-up “World’s Best Pasta Party” the night before race day, a two-day marathon expo and a victory beach party on race day.
Following is a selection of hotels near the marathon course:
· The Rock House Hotel is a boutique hotel located in Negril and exudes a hip laidback atmosphere. Carved into seaside cliffs, The Rock House features a refreshing horizon pool, 34 air-conditioned rooms comprising thatched roof villas, standard rooms and studios, some with private sundecks and an overall stylish ambience that blends perfectly with the lush surroundings.
· Sandals Negril is a couples-only all-inclusive resort set along the white sands of Jamaica’s famed Seven Mile Beach. With a host of modern amenities including free Wi-Fi, iPod docks and flat-screens, as well as minibars and tea and coffeemakers, guests can also look forward to seven restaurants and five bars, as well as three outdoor pools, a fitness center and a chic spa.
· Riu Negril is an all-inclusive hotel overlooking Jamaica’s spectacular Bloody Bay Beach. Offering more than 400 rooms in four independent buildings, amenities include five restaurants, health and wellness center, water sports including scuba diving, kayaking and windsurfing and much more.
A number of travel packages that include accommodations and on island activities, are still available from the following travel agents:
· Great Vacations – a Destination Management Company in Jamaica designing memorable experiences through its travel packages.
· Amazing Running Tours – a licensed travel agency owned by a marathon runner who has been selling tours to marathons throughout the world for 15 years.
· Run of the World – specializes in marathon tour packages around the world.
– Photo Credit Thomas Wenning.