TIPS FOR PARTICIPANTS IN KINGSTON’S FIRST MARATHON

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Participants for the Kingston City Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, March 17 will have access to energy gel, cool sponges and towels, mist and music along the routes.

Race Director, Alan Beckford and his team are ensuring that the first (official) marathon to be run in Kingston has “entertainment along the route which will help to inspire the participants,” he noted.

Beckford, who admits to the tough task ahead is optimistic that “with runners taking the scenic route via places like Devon House, Bob Marley Museum, Kings House and Hope Gardens, I believe the run will be satisfying for all those who compete.”

The planning team is hoping to surpass 5,000 participants which would highlight an increase from last year’s figure (4,876). The team continues on its quests to target teams from corporate Jamaica, overseas participants and individuals from running clubs.

Beckford has some advice for first time participants, especially for the marathon

  • Pace yourself on the first lap
  • Drink at every water stop
  • Take energy gels you are accustomed to
  • Wear a cap, cool clothes and comfortable shoes
  • Wear Sun-block
  • Apply Vaseline under arms, feet and crotch
  • Take a water bottle if you can and
  • Get a partner to run with

The marathon route has been certified by the IAAF/AIMS.

The race director is happy so far with the preparations and he is hoping that the race will surpass last year’s target.

CHARITIES

Proceeds from the event will be donated to four main charities.

  • Open Arms Development Centre
  • Marie Atkins Night Shelter
  • Food for the Poor
  • Missionaries of the Poor

Donations are accepted at https://www.kingstoncityrun.com/v2/charities/ 

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KINGSTON CITY MARATHON IS LESS THAN SIX WEEKS AWAY

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.

BRING BACK JAMAICA SPORT

ON A COUCH SOMEWHERE – Back in 2012 there was a group called Sport Tourism Implementation Committee (STIC) and in 2014, there was Jamaica Sport. What was important, even with the name change, the group was assembled to provide the framework to sustainably develop sports tourism as well as leverage local and international sports events to increase visitor arrivals to the island.

National StadiumThe group was chaired by Chris Dehring with a mix of public and private sector sport officials to include skill sets of content development, planning, marketing, operations, venue development, legal to name a few. The combined years of experience could be compared to any other global sporting body and could possibly outscore given the resources, which were available at the time.

Here is a release from the Ministry of Tourism http://www.mot.gov.jm/news-releases/new-‘jamaica-sport’-entity-launched-develop-sports-tourism-locally

Jamaica sport logo

During the tenure, we worked closer with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the agency with responsibility to market Jamaica’s Brand and made considerable leap into hosting events which at the time satisfied steadily, the mandate set:

  • Growing sport in communities
  • Employing and/or using sport officials to manage events
  • Attracting tourists to Jamaica (heads to beds)
  • Considerable media attention
  • Strengthening and deepening Jamaica’s position in the Sport Tourism market

In 2015, with the limitations we had on the immigration form, the JTB was able to capture this information

Jamaica Sport

The point here is, there was tremendous potential. It was also indicated that Sport Tourists have considerable higher spend per day and will return for a vacation after. Those trends have been reported globally, so we were on to something.

Jamaica’s rich sporting history was not to be put aside, as with the consistent excellent performances at international competitions (Summer and Winter Olympics, World Championships, Major League Soccer,) there was a steady build up of the curious and discerning tourist. What was also trending, if only for a specific time, was film crews from all over who would visit to film documentaries, photo shoots, commercials and to attend CHAMPS.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has the records of the events. While the major sporting disciplines were part of the mix, the team offered some insight on what happens when targeted and network sport like Karate, Beach Volleyball, Surfing and Badminton were supported. See excerpt of a report below:

Since November 2014, an investment of US$258,000 was made toward sporting events including: CONCACAF, Netball, Badminton, Track & Field (JIIM), ITF Tennis, Beach Volley, Cricket (CPL & WI v. AUS), Masters Football, Surfing, Golf, Endurance Running, Regional Swimming, and UANA Water Polo Championships.  This generated over 20,000 room nights (4,000 heads to beds) with an overall economic impact of approximately US$6M.

Fast forward to 2016 when Jamaica Sport was dissolved (without warning), we are still struggling to find a strong hold on how to market Jamaica as sport tourist destination.

As Dalton Myers suggested in this column, “maybe we not really ready” (I paraphrased); maybe we need to stop pretending that there is interest. I can’t help but think this is an opportunity missed (again).  Click here to read http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20180915/dalton-myers-we-are-not-ready-major-sporting-events

An outlook for opportunities could include events related to:

  • CHAMPS 2019 – March 26 – 30 – Kingston
  • World Championship 2019 (track and field)
  • Summer Olympic Games 2020
  • FIFA World Cup 2022

And here’s a reminder of why sport tourists visit a destination – to be active on and off the field/court or for nostalgia. Either way, Jamaica offers both. Let’s get this show on the road. #OneLove.

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Self Care – Part 4 – Sport Travel

Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.

When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

140612_EM_PriceSoccerFan_Adidasball_1

Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:

  • Get the schedule of the event, early
  • Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
  • Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
  • Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
  • On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location

The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.”  May the best team win!

Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.

There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:

Wimbledon: – At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. It is how to enjoy London while at Wimbledon, read more details here https://www.roadtrips.com/blog/experience-london-wimbledon/

Wimbledon
Tennis at its best

With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.

Tiger Woods
Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, Orlando

WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.

2018_ICC_Women's_World_Twenty20_Logo
The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.

In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September  and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:

  • When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
  • Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
  • Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost

Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!

#OneLove

 

 

 

 

 

Self Care – Part 3 – Go somewhere you’ve never been

May 7 – The last time we spoke on Self Care, I recommended that you go somewhere you’ve never been.

So after you have figured out the food, music, TV shows, clothes and exercise routines you would become accustomed to; I have a few more suggestions.

Self Care speaks to a routine, one which requires habitual acts. In the early stages do some of the activities the same time of day and same day each week. This kind of repetition will create a rhythm so the practice becomes a routine.

By now you would have created your playlists. These playlists should be done based on a particular mood. If you are a writer like me, there is a playlist to help you relax, one to boost a new idea, one to refresh the memory among other things.

Go somewhere you’ve never been

Go Somewhere

New places have a way to set one’s soul on fire; it makes one curious and those kinds of missions allow you to see and hear things you’ve never seen before. The trip/journey to the new location allows for a perspective of value that one will never be able to get if you stay home all the time.

Here’s how some see travel

  • A wise man travels to discover himself – James Russell Lowell                                                            
  • All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it. –Samuel Johnson

Travel

This other quote I found speaks to the adventure

  • Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people and look beyond what’s right in front of you. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in – Andrew Zimmern

So as the experts recommend, once a year, do something different. The food, music, people, locations and the language of the folks you will experience would be well worth the time spent away. I have a friend who does a blog at this link mytravelstamps.com/ – here you will find tips on travel you will want to take note of before you head off to your first/adventure. The blog clearly speaks to Ways You Can Save; Bucket List; Business Layovers and so many other things. Read it when you have some time.

Mix and match the self care activities

While you are having fun traveling, here are some fun things you can do

  • Try the local spa
  • Hop off to any of the local bars
  • Walk in the park closest to your hotelMoment
  • Go to a local play or music show

Makes notes for a journal if you feel the need and takes loads of pictures

Life is really about enjoying the moments. You can go this alone or tag along with a few friends. Either way – E-N-J-O-Y!

In the next piece, we will talk about Sport Travel.