Kingston, Jamaica — Sunshine and clear, blue skies greeted runners as they gathered in New Kingston for the 3rd staging of Kingston City Run (KCR) this past Sunday. Smoke from the Riverton blaze, which had previously forced organizers to postpone the event a week before, had given way to clean air and idyllic running conditions. Despite the rescheduled race date, hundreds gathered for the much anticipated ½ marathon, 10K and 5K competitions, including out of towners from Montego Bay and even international racers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the United States.
“We are truly overwhelmed by the all-round, positive support we have received from our participants, volunteers and sponsors,” shares Christopher Jarrett, Co-Chair, Kingston City Run Organizing Committee. “Everyone has been very understanding and accommodating of the adjustments we have had to make, and we were able to pull off a successful event because of their ongoing support,” he explains.
With its aim of highlighting the capital’s vibrant culture and rich heritage, KCR teamed up with a number of corporate partners to show off the very best of Jamaica’s biggest city. Both Pulse and Eden Gardens hosted exciting fan zones along the race routes, showcasing Kingston as a fashion powerhouse and musical mecca, while ScotiaBank and Utech provided scores of volunteers, exemplifying the hospitality and kindness of the island’s residents. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), Lifespan, Guardsman and Carib Cement also pitched in, providing financial assistance and in-kind support for the event. Through various collaborations, KCR was able to award more than 70 prizes to race participants including airline tickets, all-inclusive hotel accommodations, and passes to several attractions, such as Dunn’s River Falls, Bob Marley Museum and Dolphin Cove.
“We strongly believe that Kington, as one of the six resort areas of Jamaica, needs to be highlighted much more for its culture, music, history, food, sports and entertainment,” says Alfred McDonald, Senior Director, Commercial Development and Planning at the Norman Manley International Airport. “NMIA supports this event because we see it as one, which has the potential to showcase positive aspects of Kingston’s landscape,” he reveals.
In addition to positioning Kingston as an attractive tourist destination, KCR organizers are also looking to make a big impact closer to home. As it has in the past, the event has once again partnered with a number of local charities in a bid to help the country’s homeless population. As a result of its various fundraising initiatives, KCR will be making contributions to the Marie Atkins Night Shelter, Open Arms Drop In Centre, Food for the Poor, Missionaries of the Poor and the Alpha Institute (formerly Alpha Boys Home).