The finishing line of the Run Barbados Marathon in 1986 was about 500 Meters away but my legs made that distance feel like 10Km. I eventually finished, got my medal, and swore never to run ever again!
The next year I proved conclusively that I could not improve my time by partying 6 nights and training for a few hours each week! Since then I have done a few 10K and 5K events. No more marathons!
That year the marathon started at Airport and went along the South Coast, did a loop through Bridgetown, and then down the West Coast to finish outside the Heywood’s hotel just to the north of Speightown.
Over the years the route has made many changes. Each change has had it fans and critics. For the past 3 years it has been under new management and there has been a steady increase in the number of entries.
The 35th anniversary for the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend will be from December 1st to the 3rd, 2017. From a small beginning this event has become one of the major running events in the Caribbean. Competitors come from the Caribbean, Canada, USA, UK, Africa and many other countries. This year it is expected that record numbers will take part in all of the races.
In 2016 the number of entries were: – Mile – 692, 5K – 598, 10K – 327, Half Marathon – 383, Marathon – 84, Walk – 225. Making a total of 2309 entries over the 3 days of completion.
Run Barbados is sanctioned by the Athletic Association of Barbados and is AIMS-IAAF certified. Any marathon that accepts AIMS-IAAF certified courses will accept the times for qualifying.
The weekend offers something for everyone. From those wishing to do a walk with their children to those looking for their PB in the 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon. Even those out to regain the J&W 5K challenge cup!
The Open Water Swim Festival from November 1st to 5th is another popular international sporting event. This has grown substantially over recent years. There are five days (three practice and 2 race days) of swimming. In 2016 there were 491 entries of which 80% were visitors to the island. Entries are expected to grow this year.