The Kingston City Run

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You may recall that I announced that I would be running in the Kingston City Run and doing the 5k (5.6 km, technically) around Kingston, Jamaica. I decided to help raise funds for the Alpha Boys’ School and packed a couple big bags full of school supplies to take with me.

I was psyched to participate in the fundraising portion of the event, but slightly nervous about the run itself. As an adventure enthusiast with asthma, it often pains me both physically and emotionally when I have to miss out on something just because my lungs don’t have the capacity to do it. But, I told myself that I wouldn’t let it stop me this time, and I would finish that 5k–even if I had to walk for most of the way.

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Make your own pace.

So, that’s what I did. I transferred between a slow jog and a speed walk (my regular walking pace is arguably faster than some people run) and made my way from start to finish in the heat of the Jamaican sun.

The route is crafted to highlight some of Kingston’s most iconic attractions including Emancipation Park, Devon House, Hope Botanical Gardens, Bob Marley Museum, Vale Royal, Jamaica House and Kings House to name a few.

The run began in downtown Kingston, at the corner of Trafalgar Road and Knutsford Blvd, swinging around historical Devon House (literally running right through the gate and around the grounds), around King’s Highway and King’s House, continuing on Lady Musgrave Road and finally ending in Emancipation Park.

The event also had a charitable purpose with funds raised to provide sustainable support to the Homeless through four main charities, Open Arm Drop-in Shelter, Marie Atkins Night Shelter, Food for the Poor, The Missionaries of the Poor and the Alpha Boys Home.

route

For those doing the run, it was a great route on flat ground without many corners or obstructions. For those of us going at a more leisurely pace, it was not only a race, but a great way to see the city at the same time.

By the end, I was a little worn out, but extremely happy about completing the race. I spent some time wandering around Emancipation Park, watching the other runners celebrating and checking out the sponsor booths.

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Winners’ circle for the Kingston City Run ; includes the top male & female in the wheelchair category – Sheldon Cox and Cherry White respectively, flanked by major sponsor representative from Jamaica Tourist Board – Maureen Henry (2nd row far left), Chairman for the Kingston City Run (2nd row and 2nd from far left) Nicola Madden-Greig, and another major sponsor from Norman Manley International Airport, Yvonne Sweeney (far right, 2nd row).

Congrats to the winners!

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One of the best parts of the race was carbing-up the night before at the pre-race party at the Jamaica Pegasus. Since I was staying at the hotel, all I had to do was stroll down to the pool and start eating.

There were several tables set up, serving an assortment of delicious food and drinks. I tested breads, desserts and even a rum-cicle. I chowed down on a steaming plate of pasta that was full of carby delightfulness.

With my hunger satisfied, I called it an early night and readied myself for the morning.

Here are some photos of my race experience;

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Travelling to run in a 5k or half marathon while raising funds for a charitable cause is a great way and even better reason to travel the world. If you’re interested in doing something like this, I highly recommend signing up for next year’s Kingston City Run. As mentioned, it’s like a city tour and race all in one, and couldn’t be set in a more beautiful location.

Pack your running shoes and head to Jamaica.

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This trip was made possible by Visit Jamaica.
All thoughts & opinions are my own.

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