03 July 2023, 1pm
Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K
Sun 3 December 2023
The cool early morning breeze from the Caribbean Sea caresses the participants on the seaside course. Most participants can’t resist the desire to stay post-event, to immerse themselves in the local culture, sample the food and see the sights.
Many runners and walkers in the annual event secure their accommodations before leaving the island each year so they can return to the land of reggae and its friendly, welcoming people. Among the runners who have adopted Jamaica as their ‘home away from home’ is the group Reggae Runnerz of the USA, with 400 members participating in the past five years, having first entered in 2013.
They have adopted the students of the Green Island School in the neighbouring parish and donated running shoes for some, in addition to assisting breast cancer survivors among other charitable acts. This is in keeping with the mandate of the event organisers, Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston, to give back to the community. The Club partners with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, its featured charity, to raise funds and support efforts to raise awareness about heart disease and the need for Jamaicans to practise a healthy lifestyle.
On 3 December 2023, Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston will host the 23rd edition of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k – but with a change. The Marathon race will be discontinued, but the Half Marathon and 10K events will be held on the usual flat and fast route. Marathoners wishing to join the event can participate virtually.
Launched in 2001 the event has seen 26,319 participants over the past 22 years, with the majority taking part in the half marathon and 10K races. Among the countries which have been represented in this island event are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad, UK and USA.
Last year the Guinness World Records marathoner Shalisa ‘Lisa’ Davis ran, so did Wojchiech Magnik, who has run marathons in 129 countries; Thomas Godlewsky, 62 countries and Albert Meijer who chose Jamaica as the 50th country in which he would run a marathon.
“The 2023 event will continue to focus on runner care and enjoyment,” said race director Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis. There are aid stations at every mile along the race course, cooling stations with misters and iced towel wraps, and inspirational reggae music every mile to help to motivate the runners and walkers. Medical stations and fully equipped ambulances are positioned along the course.
Total prize money stands at over USD 10,000 (9,000 EUR). All participants receive commemorative finisher medals and certificates and an official Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K T shirt; The Bob Marley and Rita Marley trophies go to the male and female winners of the Reggae Half Marathon. Special prizes are given to high school boys and girls in the 10K and there are team awards for the half marathon and 10K.
The MYLAPS Bib Tag timing system allows live on-line tracking of runners at www.reggaemarathon.com with interim results posted during the race.