Tuesday, September 24, 2013

75 Days to Reggae Marathon!

Larry, Chris, Dan ... Post-race, Reggae Marathon
Yikes!  Where did that year go?  It was only yesterday when I was waiting outside Rondel Village in Negril for the shuttle to take me back to the airport in Montego Bay for the trip home.  All my family and friends had left for home the day before and even though I enjoyed an early morning swim and a few hours lolling for the last time on the Negril beach, saying good by to Reggae Marathon 2012 was tough.  Only 364 days to go...

Fast forward...now under 75 days to go to Reggae Marathon 2013, my 5th consecutive Reggae Marathon.  It's the only race event I've done 5 times.  And yes I was born in Jamaica but this race has something special that brings me back year after year.

There have been both highlights and low times at Reggae Marathon.  Each experience...even the not so good ones...have been positive once enough time passed.  Here are some of the experiences that have stayed with me over the years:

  • My first Reggae Marathon in 2009 was my second full marathon and my first and only complete marathon.  It wasn't pretty but I 'got it dun!'.  With my slow pace I spent a considerable amount of time under the mid-morning sun.  I was prepared and had trained for it yet nothing could prepare me for the long, long stretches of running with no one else in sight.  "The loneliness of the long distance runner?"  I got it!  The hardest part:  knowing that Sally was waiting for me at the finish line wondering when I would ever get to the finish.  Thanks for waiting Sally.
  • My second Reggae Marathon event in 2010 was actually harder.  I entered the Half Marathon event and cockily predicted a sub-2 hour time.  It was not to be.  Even with my son Courtney running with me, I struggled.  I ran with a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis, in the wrong shoes and with the wrong T Shirt.  I overheated, destroyed my feet and crossed the finish line a mess.  Not my finest hour.
  • Reggae Marathon #3 in 2011 was much better.  I had two of my sons, Andrew and Courtney in Negril along with one of their friends, Mike.  We all stayed at Rondel Village and had a blast playing on the beach before and after the race.  I entered the 10K and upon finishing could proudly claim I had 'Medalled' in each of the Reggae Marathon distances:  Full Marathon, Half and 10K.  Plus the highlight of this race was that I ran topless!  Don't worry, I didn't scare anyone...it was dark the entire race.
  • My 2012 Reggae Marathon could have been a disaster.  Barely 2 months before race day I broke some bones in my right foot.  I missed a planned half marathon that fall but expected to be fully recovered for the 10K event in Negril.  Never happened.  I was still in my walking cast when I traveled to Negril and I promised Sally I wouldn't run.  I kept my word and walked the entire 10K in my walking cast.  For the first time I got the opportunity to take pictures along the route...some of them priceless to me.
For 2013 I'm back for the event December 7.  I'll be running the 10K event once again.  Truth be told, it's my favourite distance...it's how I got into running in the first place.  I'm totally looking forward to it.  Beach, sun, run...Reggae Marathon 2013 here I come!

Until next time...

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