Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Mystique of the Reggae Marathon Experience

The mystique that is the Reggae Marathon Experience transcends the fact that once you strip away the non-essentials, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K is just a really well run road race.  Yes it's in the Caribbean in December and finishes on a white sandy beach in Negril but you still have to run 10K, a half marathon or full marathon to get to the beach experience.  What's the mystique that attracts nearly 2,500 runners from over 30 countries to travel to Negril for a ... road race?  To posture an answer, I gave this presentation at the Media Conference prior to Reggae Marathon 2017:

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'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!

Chris M Morales
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

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