5:15 a.m., still dark outside, a touch of mist in the air. Drums play in unison to inaugurate the event. You might have witnessed numerous running events; but when you stand at the start line and start tapping to kick off with Bob Marley’s Jammin’, you’ll realize how unique this experience is gonna turn out to be. Reggae is all through the day here. Live bands on the course, blaring box speakers, in cars zooming by, I’ve heard some from a distance too, and at the finish line area. If you aren’t a Reggae fan yet, you soon will be one.
Some prefer a major event with all the glare, some a low-key setting (which many trail runs naturally offer). In the Reggae marathon, it comes together. You’ll see it’s proportion is gaining size (year-on-year) but still gives you the warmth of something personal. At some point, you can’t help feel that the event appreciates your presence and rewards you in compassion.
Whether you’re a reggaeturner (reggae-returner, wow, this could make the Reggae dictionary perhaps!), or a first-timer (you’ll get hooked, you watch!) or someone like me who’s spent memorable years in Jamaica, the time you spend in this country gives you an opportunity to absorb. A crescent rainbow on a sunrise run, the sound of the ocean aside, the local flavours during your stay, quiet long runs by yourself, or just spending countless hours getting a sun-tan; this is the time, to be a sponge.
4. Familiar faces
5k into the 2011 run, I thought I was going berserk for a moment. Many faces seemed too familiar. And then it dawned upon me – people can’t seem to get enough of it in a year that they keep coming back. while covering the remaining distance, I exchanged little talks, pleasantries, and even chatted with a couple of people about their run the previous year. And chances are good that you might end up building friendships with some, a priviledge I continue to enjoy today.
5. Complete package
This one’s an easy sell – the weekend treats you to a package you can’t refuse. Extravagant pasta party, post-run dip in the ocean, environment friendly efforts (no paper cups!), the heat (I know you might disagree here, but I just love it!), a superb race t-shirt (can’t get enough wears outta it!), the list goes on!
6. Reminiscent of a milestone
Dec 1st 2010 – 8:55 a.m. I feared slowing down to a walk and not achieving a sub-4 hr marathon, a target I was running after. Bob’s mile then happened! All I did was read every quote, smile, and go over it in my head in all spheres (the song, it’s meaning, the time of composition, et al). No matter what your milestone was / is, you’ll find more than one chance to get reminiscent next weekend.
I’m not sure the organisers planned this one, but when you have a run in December, it gives you a chance to celebrate. The year gone by, good times, bad times, within running and beyond. While the miles get logged next Saturday, at some point I’m sure I’ll ponder all that has been bestowed upon me this year. Everybody joins you in celebration – the awesome organizers, the generous volunteers, people on the roads, runners on the course, etc. Like said in this part of the world, give thanks my brother. Not only for being blessed to enjoy a pure sport, but for enjoying the celebration called life.
If you think about it, the reasons aforementioned can be applied to any marathon in general. They are common and specific at the same time. What do you think?