Forty-three record breaking runners from 16 countries including the United States, Germany, Denmark, Pakistan, and Australia arrived in Dominica via MV Costa Magica, on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 to take part in a cruise marathon challenge called the Eastern Caribbean Challenge.
The Eastern Caribbean Challenge is organised by Z Adventures and the Dominica leg was hosted by the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA).
It’s a 7-day challenge, where runners take part in 7 marathons on 6 Caribbean islands including Guadeloupe, British Virgin Islands (BVI), St. Martin, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Martinique and one aboard the cruise ship.
Dominica was the 5th country.
Everyday a 42.2 kilometre marathon is held in a different island.
The route started from the Ferry Terminal to the Woodbridge port and was later changed to a point along Goodwill Road opposite the Pottersville Savannah. The participants were required to run this route 10 times.
The winner of the race was Mikkel Kaas from Denmark, who finished in 4 hrs and 32 minutes.
Kaas told DNO in an interview after the race, that he was not ready for the event.
“When I woke up today, I was really mentally tired I would actually just like to be a tourist… but then I kind of jogged but that was fast enough for me to win,” he said.
CEO and Founder of Z Adventures, Ziyad Rahim said many of the runners have obtained a number of world records and 9 participants had run marathons in more than 100 countries.
“The people that we’ve brought with us are basically the who’s who of marathon running. Lots of them have world records, we’ve got 9 runners who’ve run a matron in a 100 plus countries but none of them have a run a marathon in Dominica. So, it’s a new country for them,” he said.
Rahim added, “If you take all the 40 people who’ve come on this trip and combine the total [number of] marathons, that’s over 4000 marathons between them, they’ve completed.”
Meantime, Joel Hamilton of the Dominica Athletics Association (DAA), told DNO before the race that his role was to measure the route.
“My role is to measure the route and to check in terms of safety and how we can best organize the safety of the runners. So, I was working with Discover Dominica so they could work with the police in terms of a safe and secure route for the runners,” he noted. “There are a few police officers on the ground and also those on the bikes and also we’ve marked down the arrows on the road in terms of directing the participants of the marathon.”
Hamilton said personnel from the Dominica Red Cross, The Fire and Ambulance Department were available and on standby.
In June, the southern Caribbean Challenge will also be held in 6 Caribbean islands.