The Bahamas Marathon – held over Martin Luther King weekend – is perfect for a quick international destination race weekend. The Sunday morning event offers more than just a full marathon. There is also a half marathon and a marathon relay run at the same time. And there is also a 5K race Saturday morning, perfect for a warm-up.
This year, I received a last-minute media invitation to travel to the Bahamas and run the race, and it took me a nanosecond to emphatically say YES. I opted to run the half marathon.
I went to the expo Saturday afternoon. The expo was set up entirely outdoors in Nassau, right next to the ocean and adjacent to the marathon finish line. I felt the Bahamian pride and smiles immediately. The island music and vibrant colors and energy were readily apparent.
The booths included bib number pickup and shirts, and there were some other booths selling items or promoting various businesses and tourism on the Islands of the Bahamas.
Sunday morning, the race begins at 6 a.m. at Junkanoo Beach, near downtown Nassau. It was still dark. Unfortunately, there were unrelentless rain and downpours before the race, which continued on-and-off during the run. But, of course, a little weather never stops runners – and rain in January is certainly better than snow, right? Here are some pre-race photos.
The course offered plenty of history and local scenery and – my favorite – miles of beautiful ocean views! The course was primarily flat, except for the bridge over to Paradise Island and back at mile 2.
Due to the rain, I did not take as many photos as I might otherwise have taken, but I enjoyed running through the streets of Nassau, hearing the cheers of the spectators and gazing out at the miles of ocean views. The rain finally let up, and out came my camera!
This is my kind of course. Not too crowded and just so pretty! The race was well run and well supported. There was plenty of water and replacement drinks, at regular intervals the course of the event.
The finish line was at Arawak Cay back near the start and downtown Nassau, along the ocean. It was festive, with plenty of music and cheer and refreshments, including local beer.
I forgot the nickname of this gentleman, but he’s a well-known personality in the neighborhood.
I would love to return to the Bahamas to run this marathon again, or to run other marathons offered by the Island of the Bahamas. This was a great weekend getaway. Whether you are a runner looking for a fast course, or someone who enjoys running in new scenic destinations, I recommend the Bahamas Marathon!
Note: my travel to the Bahamas, two-night accommodations and marathon entry were provided by the Bahamas Tourist Office.