4 first-time countries for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K


4 first-time countries for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K

Thursday, December 05, 2019

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Malta, Madagascar, Peru, and Macau will participate in this year's Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K for the first time, joining the nearly 40 countries which have participated in the event over the past 19 years.

This year's run/walk is expected to be bigger and better than last year, based on the number of registered participants.

As has been in recent past, the largest group expected is the Reggae Runnerz from the USA, which comprises participants from various states. This group has adopted the Green Island School and has continued to support local businesses in Negril.

“We are looking to increase the comfort of our participants on the course this year,” said Alfred “Frano” Francis, race director.

“We are getting ready for our 20th anniversary next year, which we hope will bring even more participants to our island. So, we want to give this year's runners and walkers an unforgettable time so they will want to return for the second decade celebration,” Francis continued.

There will be fun, food and entertainment galore this year. On Saturday, December 7 the runners and walkers have been promised a taste of the Jamaican culture with what many consider the largest Pasta Party of any marathon around the world, featuring the Silver Birds Steel Band and Negril's rising reggae star Indie Allen, together with other local performers. On Sunday, December 8 there will be a post-race Beach Bash featuring Warrior King and DJ Steamaz at Long Bay Beach Park.

Now in its 19th year, Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K has seen participation from 23,030 local and international runners and walkers since it was launched, with the number having steadily increased between 2014 and 2018.

A survey carried out by Jamaica Tourist Board showed that the amount spent by each visitor to the island during Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K increased last year to US$336 per day, while each local spent US$222 per day.

The survey also noted that last year, 71 per cent of the visitors who participated in the event were from the USA, with 35 per cent coming from the North East, while most of the local participants were from Kingston and St Andrew. As in previous years, there were more female visitors participating than males. On the other hand, last year, there were slightly more local males taking part in the event than local females.

Whereas 62 per cent of the visitors who participated in the 2018 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K were not travelling to Jamaica for the first time, the number of repeat participants of the event increased slightly by two per cent compared to 2017.

“The race has grown tremendously over the past years, with the support of the various ministries of government, the Jamaica Tourist Board, agencies and the Negril hoteliers, and this year we look forward to another successful staging in Negril,” Francis said.

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