Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reggae Marathon 2012 Walkabout, Part 2

Elvis has left the building and is now living comfortably in Negril.  He chows down on Jerk Pork and Jerk Chicken and washes it all down with cold Red Stripe.

OK, I made that all up but the Elvis sign on the side of the road as we approached a Reggae Marathon Aid Station at the 4 mile mark caught my eye.  Man I had too much time on my hands walking the Reggae Marathon 10K.

Reggae Marathon is one of the few (only) race events that have Aid Stations at every mile.  Did I mention that they also have unique Jamaican Character?

Notice in the background the car with the speakers on top.  The car belonged to this young volunteer.  He was waving the flag, handing out water and Hi-Lyte and playing LOUD Reggae music.  And I do mean LOUD!  And this was just after 6 am in the morning.

Each Aid Station on the entire course is set up the same way.

I caught this shot of Reggae Marathon 4 time winner Rupert Green on his way to another victory.  I was lying down on the road shooting when I caught the attention of a race volunteer who wanted to know if I was all right.  It took a couple of minutes to assure her that I was...even my media badge didn't convince her.  Maybe it was the cast on my foot.  She watched me hobble away and I'm convinced she was only moments away from calling for help.

I did say there was music along the Reggae Marathon Course right?  Well here right along the route near the finish line at Long Bay Beach Park was the Silverbird Steel Band Orchestra performing.  This band performs every year at the Reggae Marathon Pasta Party Friday night and they put on a great show again this past December.  Here they are at around 6:30 am bringing us home...well, at least those of us doing the 10K.

It's been 4 consecutive years attending Reggae Marathon in Negril.  I've run the full marathon, the half marathon and the 10 K (twice).  It's a long way to go to get to Negril each December but once there it's truly a magical experience.  See you again December 7, 2013...

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reggae Marathon 2012 Walkabout, Part 1

The Boot 
The Boot loved the beach in Negril last week. It didn't need sunscreen at all, didn't offer any conversation and was a cheap date at the bar and restaurant.  The Boot enjoyed itself so much that it didn't want to come home. I think it was looking for a hookup on the beach.

I was sorely tempted to let The Boot stay behind and enjoy itself in Jamaica.  My foot had recovered...The Boot had done its's job. but then I remembered how much I paid for it!  Welcome home!

Reggae Marathon Media Briefing
For some reason the Reggae Marathon organizers ask me to speak at the media briefing every year.  After blogging here and on the Reggae Marathon blog for the past two years, I'm never sure what else I can add about running and Reggae Marathon.  Especially when the audience are 'The Media'.  But there I was last Friday night during the Reggae Marathon Media Briefing sharing the social media experiences over the past year.  And there were some significant ones:

Court, Chris, Andrew, Dan.  Reggae Marathon 2012
All we were missing was Holden at Reggae Marathon 2012!  Holden says he doesn't run but he has a year to train!

Here are the boys at 4:45 am at Long Bay Beach Park in Negril with our friend, Dan Cumming (of Running in the Zone fame).  Dan and I sure that the only time Court and Andrew see 4:45 am is when coming home from a late night of weekend partying.  Dan, Court and Andrew burned up the Reggae Marathon 1/2 Marathon course.  I think we'll all be back for 2013??

Negril River at Sunrise
The big advantage of walking the Reggae Marathon 10K was that I got to take pictures while an the course.  So I did!

This picture was taken at 6 am.  It's of the Negril River just after passing the round-a-bout in Negril at around the 3 mile mark of the course I stopped on the bridge to shoot a Negril sunrise photo.  I've got lots of pictures of the sunsets in Negril...who doesn't...but this is my first sunrise picture.  Hmmm...looks like a selection on my Facebook page in the near future.

More stories and photos to come from my 2012 Reggae Marathon Walkabout experience.

Until next time

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reggae Marathon 2012: Got 'er dun!

Borrowing a phrase from the Summer Olympics, 'Go haad an dun", I 'got 'er dun' last Saturday at Reggae Marathon.  After worrying about making it through the entire 10K with the walking cast on my right foot, my only worry turned out to be not stopping every few meters to shoot a few pictures.  Usually I'm intent on finishing with a target time but this year I had no such concerns since I was walking.  The goal was to finish...couldn't let the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario down.  Plus, I wanted the 4th in a row Reggae Marathon Finisher's Medal.

At Reggae Marathon again this year Mother Nature continued her string of good weather.  In fact, Saturday morning last week dawned quite cool with no humidity.  'Cool' of course in Negril, Jamaica is a relative thing but it sure was a major relief after my first time at Reggae Marathon 2009 when overnight rain resulted in a higher degree of humidity.  The only humidity this year was the mandatory drenching in the Caribbean after successfully completing the run.

The Puma Faas 300's were retired last Saturday as well.  Yes, these were the shoes that were there for the foot injury.  I figured it was only fitting that they they be there for the successful completing of Reggae Marathon 2012.  Of course we had to enjoy a complimentary Red Stripe before 'retirement'.  If you have to ask, "Red Stripe taste good" after Reggae Marathon.

It's been 2 1/2 months since my last run and you know what...it's been good!  30 years is a long time to run every day and be relatively injury free.  I am very fortunate.  These last two years of foot problems culminating in the stress fractures came at the right time.  I'll be back to running of course but it will be very different.  Competing with my younger self is now a thing of the past...I have a few more grey hairs after all!  It won't be for a few more weeks...I really do want to ensure that my foot has healed fully before I head out for my first post-injury run.  But you know what...I'm looking forward to it!

'Got 'er dun!'

Until next time...