KINGSTON, Jamaica – When you think of the city of Kingston, Jamaica, a marathon is not the first thing that comes to mind. Well in 2019, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Kingston’s chapter and its partners will host its first-ever marathon on Sunday, March 17.
What is even more interesting, is, the IAAF/AIMS has certified the route. That is historical in every context. The 480 square kilometres city is home to sporting and cultural history that surpasses any city its size. And the marathon will add flavour to this already exciting “UNESCO Creative City.”
The marathon will take you through the curves and turns of Kingston (twice) and although it may not be an ideal run for marathoners globally, it paints a new picture of the city.
After six years of hosting a 5K and 10K and Half Marathon, “adding the full marathon” was a dream come true for Nicola Madden Greig, co-chair of the KCM team.
THE VALUE TO KINGSTON
The Kingston City Marathon will become popular like all other top marathons in cities across the globe. What will this mean for Kingston?
Well the Ministry of Health, in the last few years, started the Jamaica Moves campaign and that makes ‘health and fitness’ a worthy practice for the people of Jamaica. That is all part of an initiative to encourage people to get involved in physical activities.
The Kingston City Marathon will help to drive the ongoing development of Kingston, it is all about building reputation and popularity; while helping to use sport, in this case, a marathon event, as one key element to the city’s soft power.
Director of Tourism, Donovan White, at the press launch last month (January 16) said, “Jamaica now hosts two marathons almost four months apart, this is a clear opportunity.” The Director also pointed out “with the already established products of Kingston – great music, food and other exciting sporting events, the city will be enhanced by the Kingston City Marathon. He added that “marathons are a huge draw for sport tourists and have the potential to generate millions of dollars for the host city of Kingston.”
Kingston remains a relatively small city; however, the partnership with the local authorities, businesses and people, is an important one, aimed at overall growth, while enhancing the city’s status.
The Kingston City Marathon is the 2nd official marathon being hosted in Jamaica. The other being the Reggae Marathon in Negril in December.