Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/
Date : 6th February, 2016
Time : 59’ 38”
Total distance run to date : 700 km
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1044805442
I’m guessing that, when many people think about Jamaica and running, they think about Usain Bolt and Jamaica’s dominance of sprinting. And understandably so in many ways. Their recent performances have extraordinary. Largely as result of those sprinters, Jamaica were the top sporting country in the whole world in 2015 as measured by Greatest Sporting Nation’s Per Capita Cup.
However, partly due to the Kingston City Run, middle and long distance running are becoming increasingly popular in Jamaica. And it showed on the Saturday morning of my run in Kingston. There were c 150 people, from 9 different running clubs, as it moved towards 5 am and the start of the run. Frustratingly, despite all the photos taken on the day, I don’t have a good picture of everyone. And my blogging platform doesn’t support the video I took at the beginning. Anyway, suffice it to say that it was a wonderful turnout.
Almost as exciting for this childhood Bob Marley fan, was the fact that we were running on his birthday. I first started to fall in love with his music when my brother brought home 1975’s ‘Live at the Lyceum’. The whole album’s great – I’m listening to it as I write this blog – but “No Woman, No Cry” was probably my favourite track. Apart from everything else, it was a great comfort in those extremely rare (of course…) moments when I didn’t have a girlfriend.
And it wasn’t just his music that attracted us to Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley. During the 1970s, Bob Marley became involved in Jamaican politics – which was almost certainly the reason he was shot in 1976. Marley performed at the Smile Jamaica concert two days after his shooting and, when asked why, he said “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”.
As you can imagine, my excitement only increased when our run took us past the Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road. It was pretty dark when we first passed the museum but Alan was good enough to stop and take a few photos of me in the museum grounds on the way back (above). It must been almost 6 am at the time but the place was still open and milling with people from the previous night’s birthday party. Judging from all the media coverage I was to see later in the day, Bob Marley’s legacy is alive and well in Jamaica and I only wish I could have stayed longer to join in the celebrations planned for the rest of the week-end.
Finally, if I may finish on a sombre note, Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981. One of the main reasons I’m doing these runs is to raise money for cancer research and I know the charity would be extremely grateful for any donation :
Thank you Stacey, Sacha, Duncan, Kaysia, Emile, Chris, Stephen, Alan and everyone from the Jamdammers, Sonic Steppers, Pacers and other running clubs. What a fantastic run!