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Posted: September 29, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Montserrat Hosts First-Ever Volcano Half Marathon

Runners will be challenged over 13 miles of rugged terrain on this volcanic Caribbean island

Brades, Montserrat -- September 28, 2009 -- The Montserrat Tourist Board (MTB), in collaboration with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) and the Fittest Man Running Club, will host the first-ever Montserrat Volcano Half Marathon on December 5, 2009. The race will be one of the key events during the island's annual carnival celebration, known as Festival, with proceeds from the event being donated to three local charities, Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels and the Golden Years Retirement Home.

"This event is not only designed to challenge the runners, but will also provide up-close and personal views of some of the key attractions that make our island unique, including the active Soufriere Hills Volcano,: said Ishwar Persad, marketing manager for the MTB. "As an avid runner, I am proud to be a part of organizing this event that will showcase the island to the participants and other visitors traveling to the destination."

For more than 13 miles, runners will navigate a strenuous course that begins at Blake's Football Field. The route will take racers throughout most of the island, passing key sites and attractions including the Montserrat Cultural Centre, a state-of-the-art facility made possible by the fundraising efforts of former Beatles producer Sir George Martin; Runaway Ghaut, where folklore promises one sip from the ghaut will guarantee a return visit to the island; the entrance to Air Studios, where music greats such as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder once recorded; Soufriere Hills Volcano, the island's most famous attraction responsible for the destruction of former capital city Plymouth in the mid 1990s and weather permitting, the Belham Valley, once the island's only golf course, now submerged under volcanic mudflows. Runners will cross the finish line at Salem Park.

The registration fee for the half marathon is $30 and includes a T-shirt, Montserrat gift items and a souvenir medal made out of volcanic material. The deadline for registration is December 4, 2009. Visitors and participants can also become fans of the event on Facebook by going to the Montserrat Volcano Half Marathon fan page at For more details and registration information on the race, contact the Montserrat Tourist Board at or visit

Montserrat, the only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday, is a lush green and mountainous island of approximately 39 square miles that lies in the Eastern Caribbean chain of islands. Known fondly as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, this pear shaped island is a traveler's paradise for nature lovers, divers, adventurers, family and villa vacationers, and honeymooners. This British overseas territory boasts the spectacular Soufrière Hills Volcano, a modern day Pompeii in the form of its buried former capital city Plymouth, alongside lush, green mountains, world class nature trails, deserted dark sand beaches, untouched reefs and a quiet friendly charm reminiscent of the way the Caribbean used to be. For more information on Montserrat and its breathtaking scenery and unspoiled, unpolluted coral and volcanic vistas, visit

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