It's a great pleasure and privilege for me to be back here at my 9th Reggae Marathon speaking with you about our world in Social Media. I'm humbled as well with having the Reggae Marathon blog be voted one of the top 50 marathon blogs in the world. I'm just telling running stories!
Last year while sitting on a balcony at our hotel riding out a rain shower, I was asked a simple question, "What's the Reggae Marathon Experience?". And you know, even though I'm a regular here each December, and handle social media, I was stumped in giving a succinct and concise answer. Oh I went on of course about the unique pre-dawn start and the post-race beach bash including the dash into the Caribbean. But I didn't have a simple answer and it gnawed at me. So as any good social media person does, I asked our fans to tell us what the Reggae Marathon Experience meant to them as a way to get to the essence. On our blog and in social media we shared the stories from a number of runners who responded. These 3 stood out:
- Jane S from Michigan. She's been coming to Jamaica for over 20 years but this year will be her first time at Reggae Marathon: 'Running is my time for thinking and meditating about life's journey...Reggae Marathon is the perfect race for me'
- Keri W. from New York has been coming to Negril to run Reggae Marathon since 2010. 'Running is my therapy...and I do it with my friends. Reggae Marathon is one of the friends I meet up with each year in Negril'
- Martina C. from Kingston, Jamaica has been running Reggae Marathon as well since 2010. 'I began running as a way to lose weight and spend time with my friends...it's now evolved as a therapeutic way to push myself mentally and physically...I celebrate at Reggae Marathon.
'Friendship'. 'Achievement' 'Celebration'. Those were the common themes. So today when you ask me the same question, 'What's the Reggae Marathon Experience?", I'd answer with more confidence, 'Reggae Marathon is the catalyst that allows each of us runners to achieve something greater than we can achieve, at any other race'.
Reggae Marathon in 2009, my first and only full marathon, was where I achieved my personal goal of finishing a marathon. I was willed on by people who I'd met only days before who sat in the blazing sun for hours waiting patiently for those brief moments in the finish chute. Special, yes; Mysterious, for sure!