Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Tottori winner for Reggae Marathon

Published:Friday | December 2, 2016 | 12:00 AM

ONE of the highlights of tomorrow's 16th staging of the Reggae Marathon will be the participation of Japan's Tottori Prefecture Marathon winner Kata Taniguchi.

Taniguchi won the event in 2 hours 29.29 seconds, and he will line up at the start of the event at 5:15 a.m. in Long Bay, Negril. The Japanese athlete is here as part of a twinning agreement between the Westmoreland and the Tottori Prefecture.

As part of the agreement, this year's Reggae Marathon winner will run at the Tottori Marathon in March next year.

Race director, Alfred "Franno" Francis is expecting a big turnout for tomorrow's event.

"We are expecting a minimum of 2,500 participants from more than 35 countries," Francis said. There will be a victory beach party and awards ceremony, dubbed "Finish Line Beach Bash" at Long Bay Beach from 7 a.m. to noon. This will feature Digicel Rising Stars and reggae performers Kelissa and Keznamdi.

The International Association of Athletics Federations and USA Track and Field have re-certified the three race courses for the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K.

"This is a requirement every five years. This also means that the course is a qualifier for the World Championships, the Olympics and the setting of a world record," Francis said.

- Raymond Graham