Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unfinished Business Finished at the Reggae Marathon in Negril, December 2009

December 5, 2009 is the date I finished 'Unfinished Business".  And it only took 5 hours and 25 minutes under the extreme late morning heat along the Norman Manley Highway from Negril to Green Island and back in the 2009 Reggae Marathon.

What was I thinking?  I could have picked a marathon in Toronto...actually could have chosen from the two that are both run in the fall.  I have been asked the question so many times. And the answer every time is that there was a strong emotional pull to do it on the island of my birth.  Added to that:  my Dad was 'uber Jamaican'.  Even after 36+ years living in Canada, he kept up-to-date on the goings-on and was always quick with his opinion on how to fix things.

When the starter's gun went off at 5:15 am last Saturday, it was all I could do to hold back the tears.  Can't run and cry. 

And at the finish...couldn't hold back the tears here.  (Note:  this picture was taken by Sally who with the help of new friends Bob and Debbie from Washington, DC, got her into the media area.  Thanks guys.  Check out their web site, Washington Running Report for another picture of guess who :))

Days later I am still flying high with the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment of conquering the heat, humidity and distance.  Somehow I don't think that feeling will diminish.

And the best part:  even though we did not hit our goal of raising $10,000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association, we managed to raise just under $5,000 in only three months! 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED.  Your generous contributions kept me going when it got really lonely and desolate on the road last Saturday.

OK, the second best thing...taken less than 5 minutes after finishing.  Now that's the real reason for choosing the Reggae Marathon in Negril.  Could not have done that in Toronto.  And if you must know the gory details, I consumed over 10 litres of liquid over the race, 5 gel packs of bad tasting but supremely effective goo and more litres of recovery liquids with electrolytes than I thought I could drink.  Not sure what it did to my stomach, but it got me through the hours and helped immensely with the recovery. 

And to my friends on the Wasaga Beach Road Runners:  you were right about showing respect for the heat.  HELL ON EARTH but I beat the Devil that morning.

Do you run for yourself or someone else? I run because I love to run. I really run to honour those who no longer can.

"I finished"

Until next time...


  1. Chris, I can only imagine the force of emotion you felt at the finish line. I'm so proud and glad for you! Congratulations!

  2. Congratulation are a Machine!!!
    All the Best!!
    Tammy Gauthier
    And There You Glow Esthetics☺

  3. Great pictures. Do you have any more?

  4. Tears .... I am SO proud of you! Only wish I had been there to spur you on - I actually loved being stationed at the water stop in the middle of the Negril Morass - about Miles 17 to 21 - gave me the greatest joy to know that I was helping people achieve their dreams! But I know my fellow Jamdammers were there, so all is well! Don't you just LOVE the medal?

  5. Thanks everybody. Yes we have more pictures. I will put them on upcoming blog posts. And Marguerite, a special thanks for bringing back some powerful images of the miles on the road

  6. Congratulations Chris and Sally. Chris for running ...and Sally for putting up with Chris for these past few months since he decided to run! Glad you are home safe and sound. It is about the journey and Chris you have found your way. God Bless. Brian McMillan

  7. Congratulations, Chris. What an accomplishment. You should be very proud of yourself for doing this run.
    Wishing you and Sally a very Merry Christmas. Doug and Ursula

  8. Thanks Doug and Ursula. I may have run the race alone but could never have finished without the tremendous support from an awful lot of people.

  9. We have said several times meeting Chris and Sally was a highlight of our 2009 Jamaican trip.
    What you didn't say, is you came across that line, arms in the air, screaming like a Reggae star!! :-)
    They say..once you go, you know!
    Debbe and I arrived in Baltimore to freezing temps and 7" of snow. The heat of Jamaica was easier than that reality shock. Saturday we had another 18" what is going on?
    We leave for "disney" Jan 6..Now there is a race. A 1/2 M on Sat, and a Full on Sun..truly a GOOFY CHALLENGE. Want to do it next year. I'll come and hold your flag there too! I'mm a good flag holder. I get beer real well too.
    Do you celebrate Christmas in Canada? Have a happy and prosperous new year too!


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