Back in March 2013, I was invited aboard a weeklong Royal Caribbean cruise to help drum up interest in the Royal 5K, a race they were putting on for their guests in Falmouth, Jamaica. My main job was to give a seminar about running on one of our days out to sea. A crowd of 25 or so gathered up on the top deck basketball courts to listen to me talk a bit about running and then answer their running-related questions.
We did a group fun run and exercises in Labadee, Haiti, on our stop there. And, the morning of the race itself, I led some stretches and pre-race warm ups on the ship. After docking, I ran the race with everyone else, giving encouragement along the way and taking lots of photos. It was very rewarding to see so many people making healthy choices while on vacation. And then, a couple days later, I was able to get in a long run of my own when we docked in Cozumel, Mexico. All around, the week was stellar – I got to run and talk about running for a whole week while touring some of the nicest spots in the Caribbean.
So, when they invited me to come back in December, of course I said yes. The week was the same basic setup, but with different destinations. We stopped in The Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten this time around. All of those were new places for me, and it was great to be able to run and explore them. There was a great group of runners on the ship and it was so much fun getting to know them and talk running for a whole week. It's hard to believe that this is considered work. How lucky am I?
Royal Caribbean started running the ads that you see displayed here on RunnersWorld.com in early September 2013.
This post was published on December 20th, 2013 by Robert James Reese.