14 countries already registered for virtual Reggae Marathon
To date, registrations for the virtual staging of the 2020 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K have been received from 14 countries.
These are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Jamaica, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad, the UK and USA. Registration closed on December 2 for local runners and on November 30 for the international running community.
Participants will be able to run or walk anywhere in the world, on any date and time between now and December 5, 2020, when the event will be officially closed.
However, 140 members of the Reggae Runnerz from the USA, the largest participating group over the years, have booked their stay at Negril hotels for a minimum of five nights so they can run the race on the Reggae Marathon course, which was established 20 years ago. As the group has done in the past, members will be supporting such local organisations such as the Green Island School, the Clifton Boys’ Home as well as breast cancer survivors this year.
In preparation for that group, and for any other international or local runners and walkers, the Reggae Marathon organising team has already refreshed the route in Negril to accommodate them.
Under the new virtual arrangement, each runner or walker will receive a Digital Runner’s bib and finisher certificate and, post-race, a medal, signature Reggae Marathon T-shirt and a branded tote bag.
“Additionally, on December 5, a number of local clubs plan to run and walk virtually, wearing branded Reggae Marathon shirts and/or medals from previous Reggae Marathon events, in honour of race director Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, who is recovering from a recent illness.
“Our race director was looking forward to participating in the first virtual Reggae Marathon, so this gesture from the local running community is certainly heartwarming,” said Diane Ellis, sponsorship director, Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K.
“COVID-19 has altered the ‘runscape’ worldwide and Jamaica is no exception. With the rise in positive cases locally and globally, we took the decision to cancel the physical participation this year in the interest of the international and local participants, with the objective of staying safe. However, we look forward to returning to the normal participation in 2021,” said Francis in an earlier statement.
Since its inception in 2001, Reggae Marathon has seen 24,890 participants, of which 13,169, or 53 per cent were visitors from more than 40 countries worldwide.