Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
On December 10 and 11, Rey Smart from London, England ran in the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend. Run Barbados returned after a two-year break bigger than ever with new sponsors, a new course and a few other differences.
Previously held over three days on the West Coast, this year’s edition was over two days and based on the East Coast. The Marathon Weekend is popular with international runners and generally attracts participants from Canada, Europe and across the Caribbean. During the lead up to the weekend, there was a fitness and music event delivered by Barbadian coach and music artiste Spinny.
The weekend kicked off from 3 p.m. with a family picnic in Barclays Park, St Andrew. Live music was provided by the brilliant Euphony Steel Band throughout the afternoon. While the runners arrived, high energy music was played, setting the scene for the evening’s events.
Saturday’s event schedule was The Joe’s River 5km Walk at 4 p.m., the Nature’s Discount Round Rock Race at 4:30 p.m. and the Sand Dunes 10km Race at 4:35 p.m. All of Saturday’s events started at Barclays Park, went south, turned at Cattlewash, went north up the coast past the start and looped back to finish at Barclays Park.
After the runs, there was an after party with great live performances from soca music artists Faith Callender, Nikita, Mikey Mercer and Alison Hinds.
Sunday morning, it was back to Barclays Park for a very early start with races from 5:30 a.m. As early as 4:30 a.m. the surrounding areas were buzzing with people arriving on foot, by car and buses chartered by the event organisers to enable people from across the island to make it to and from the event.
Sunday’s schedule started with The Farley Hill Half Marathon and Marathon Races at 5:30 a.m., followed by Infra Rentals Casuarina 3km Race at 5:50 a.m. and The Sleeping Giant 7km at 5:52 a.m.
The early start was intended to allow runners to finish the bulk of their events by sunrise. The cool breeze from the Atlantic Coast made for a cool start and more comfortable events for many. The Farley Hill Half Marathon course started at Barclays Park, went south along the coast, turning at Cattlewash, headed north up the coast, looped around The Lakes, St Andrew and south back to finish at Barclays Park. The Marathon course was two laps of the half. The Run Barbados Marathon Weekend was a success; the running events had over 800 runners from countries including Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia.
Rey Smart is a London based fitness coach and the founder of UK based fitness company Be Smart Get Fit. The seasoned international runner has run 14 marathons, eleven of which have been international. The ASICS Fitness Coach and Social Media Influencer returned to Barbados to run the Marathon for the third time.
He joined the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) press trip for UK based travel agents which showcased Barbados hotels, restaurants, and tourist activities.
In the 5km race, he placed 27th out of 268 runners. In the marathon, he was the third British finisher and placed 14th out of 51 runners. Rey, who first participated in the marathon weekend in 2018, said that he enjoyed it so much he returned in 2019. He said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the new course, the live entertainment and the entire weekend. I will be returning in 2023 for one of my favourite annual running events!”
– Rey Smart
Be Smart Get Fit