Bringing Home The Bling at Kingston City Marathon

Running as fast as I can down Jamaica’s Knutsford Boulevard, I turn the corner and see the Kingston City Run finish line, just a few car lengths ahead. My skin is slick with sweat, my breath is ragged, and the sun is making me squint, but I rally for one final push. Because I’m all about the bling and I just know the medal I’ll get a few seconds from now will be worth the effort

Arms raised and with a triumphant smile I cross the finish, heading straight for a group of volunteers, their arms laden with medals hanging from bright yellow ribbons. I stop in front of one of them and dutifully bow my head so she can put onw around my neck.

“Sorry, no medals for 5K, only 10K,” she says with a smile, stepping aside to give one to the huffing 10K finisher I hadn’t noticed was behind me.

Whaaaat??” I can’t believe it! In every other race I’ve run all finishers get a medal, regardless of distance or finish time. And I’ve been counting on getting mine ­ – commemorating my first Jamaican race – and wearing it proudly for the rest of the day.

Medal-less and muttering under my breath, I slink out of the race chute. My disappointment is eventually assuaged by the well-earned fried fish and festival I devour at Fort Clarence beach later that morning. But flying home the next day, staring out the window as the capital recedes behind clouds, I vow: I’ll be back next year. And I’m running the 10K!

Well, that was 2018.

And in March 2019 I did, indeed, return to the race, called Kingston City Marathon since adding 26.2 to the half-marathon, 10K and 5K events. So how did running double my original distance go? And did I finally bring home the bling? Watch this video and find out!

And then scroll down for a slideshow of carousel of photos from my trip.