KINGSTON, Jamaica … October, 2007 – The Canadian and American charity group Joints in Motion will lead a contingent of over 200 marathoners to Jamaica for the seventh staging of Reggae Marathon / Half Marathon which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 1 in Negril.
Speaking at the launch of the event at the Altamont Court Hotel in Kingston on October 30, race director Alfred “Frano” Francis said the event is “growing in popularity both nationally and internationally and this year, in addition to the large groups out of Canada and the United States of America who have shown interest, we continue to receive enquires about Reggae Marathon from as far away as Japan and we hope to see the usual contingent of Japanese in addition to new participants from that country being represented here.”
Mr. Francis said marathon running is becoming even more popular as people are using this medium not only to maintain physical fitness but also to promote their various causes. “From Breast cancer to “eco-marathoning”, running is being used to help increase awareness about the importance of protecting our health and our planet.”
“We are pleased that Joints in Motion has selected Jamaica as their marathon destination this year”, Mr. Francis said, noting that they follow in the tradition of other charity groups such as The American Stroke Association and Strides for Hope which have all participated in Reggae Marathon in previous years.
Mr. Francis also announced that this year, three deserving individuals have been selected to compete in the annual Gleaner Challenge for Reggae Marathon. These are: Kenisha Griffiths, Diana Blake Bennett and Earl Stewart. He said that these winners who have been selected based on their desire to lead more healthy lifestyles, will be guided and assisted by members of the
Jamdammers Running Club, organizers of the event; their medical team and corporate supporters to gain maximum benefit from their first marathon experience. The challenge winners join a number of corporate groups, students and other individuals who have already registered for the event. Mr. Francis also announced that this year, for the first time, corporate teams will be awarded cash prizes as well as the usual trophies.
Beginning at 12 noon on Thursday, November 29 with the Marathon Expo and opening of registration at the Couples Swept Away Sporting Complex, the marathon weekend continues on Friday, November 30 with the much anticipated ‘World’s Best Pasta Party’, which will be enhanced this year by a variety of new dishes created by leading chefs from Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away, Riu and the Sandals and Beaches chain. The traditional pasta party which allows runners to stock up on much needed carbohydrates for the race is now one of the high points of Reggae Marathon and is free of charge to race participants, with a fee for non-participants.
On Friday night there will be the Village Bash at the Burger King Parking Lot in Negril Square with featured performances by Digicel’s Rising Stars and Negril’s own Edge Micheal who is becoming increasingly popular on the European reggae circuit. This event is free to the public.
The featured event, the Reggae Marathon & Half Marathon takes place on Saturday, December 01 starting at 5:15 a.m. at the Long Bay Beach Park. Live online results of the race and a chance to view the finish line via web cam, facilitated by the latest Wimax technology from Digicel, will be available at http://www.reggaemarathon.com/
Live reggae music will be featured on the course with the best of Negril’s entertainment bands. Later that evening the event will climax with the Victory and Awards Ceremony at the exotic Negril Escape on Negril’s West End.
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