Tourists Run To Marathon Bahamas
Tourists from over 30 countries flocked to New Providence January 16-17 to participate in Sunshine Insurance’s race weekend and according to officials the race has grown tremendously.
The Marathon Bahamas competition was a staggering 26 miles – most of which was along the breathtaking coastline of New Providence Island.
Hundreds participated in the event held on January 17 but the overall victor was Amos Deshardins of Alexandria, Virginia.
Deshardins, an ultra marathon runner, decided to run Marathon Bahamas for the first time.
“It was a great marathon. It was grueling, it was hot, windy and rainy – a little bit of everything and it was a great course,” he said.
“It was an amazing feeling to come across that tape first. It was just a truly amazing experience. I wanted to come down here and get out of the cold in the DC weather and down here to this beautiful weather and water. I always try to do a race this time of year and what better place to do it but in The Bahamas. It’s truly amazing. I’ll definitely come back next year.”
The overall female winner of the event was Sarah Dohan of Lexington, Massachusetts.
She never ran a marathon before and chose The Bahamas.
“I wanted to do a marathon in The Bahamas because it seems like a really great destination to do a marathon. It has really great weather in January. It is a beautiful course; it is a beautiful island. I love to run by the ocean but it was definitely hot and it had more hills than I expected. I will be back,” she said.
Karen Kwan, 20, of Canada ran the half marathon and said The Bahamas always peaked her interest.
“I’ve never been to The Bahamas and I was always curious about it and so I decided to run the marathon. I heard it was beautiful and I am always up for a destination race. It was great to see the oceans and you cannot ask for a better ending at a beach,” she said.
Runners from Latin America were also in high attendance at Marathon Bahamas.
The Ministry of Tourism, which proudly sponsored the event, held a social media contest in Latin America for Marathon Bahamas.
Florence Boulaye, who also came to The Bahamas for the first time, won the contest.
She ran the half marathon this year but has ambition to run further.
“I loved the run but I think I should run the full marathon,” Boulaye said. “This is my first one outside of my country.”
Carlos Ulibarri from Mexico City, Mexico helped to promote Marathon Bahamas in Latin America. He said the interest was high in Latin America to come to The Bahamas.
“A lot of people want to come to Latin America to run. We saw people from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Our goal is to bring more and more people from Latin America to The Bahamas not only for the marathon but throughout the years,” he said.
“It was amazing. The view is amazing, the people are amazing and the food is amazing. Just to finish in front of the beach and to be able to go into the water. It’s unique and it’s only here that you can do that. This is paradise.”
Director of Marathon Bahamas Shelly Wilson said she was ecstatic by the way the entire weekend turned out, which included the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
She anticipates that it will only get better in years to come.
“We had more of everything this year. We had showers of blessings before the race and during the race and it helped to cool things down. Some of our local participants said this was their best time yet,” Wilson said.
“If you see the complement of young persons participating this year that has really grown through the relay aspect of the race, which was sold out. So that bears well for the future as well as the future of running in The Bahamas and so we are really proud.”