Cruise Connection: Running Cruises

Cool Runnings

A Caribbean cruise is the perfect backdrop to try out a new travel tend: the “runcation.”

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Heat, hills, and humidity. As a runner, that’s my Kryptonite.

Even though I live in Miami, where humidity is high and temps are almost always north of 80 degrees, I run in the pre-dawn hours before the sun has a chance to scorch the earth — and my chances of setting a PR (personal record). And as for hills, well, pancake-flat South Florida doesn’t have any. Our version of elevation training takes place on a couple of the area’s bridges — both of which I studiously avoid.

Yet, here I am, on a sunny morning in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, bounding over what seems like a gazillion steps leading up a steep hillside. I’m breathing hard as my sneakers hit each tread of the famous 99 Steps staircase, built with bricks brought to the island as ballast in Danish ships centuries ago. The 9 a.m. sun is beating down on my shoulders; sweat trickles down the small of my back; and my burning quads are feeling every inch of the increasing elevation. But there’s a smile on my face. I’m actually enjoying this!

“Almost there,” says another runner as he bounces happily down the steps toward me, his neon green T-shirt identifying him as a fellow member of our Run For Fun Cruise (RFFC) group, which disembarked Regal Princess to run a scenic 5K along the city’s narrow streets and curving waterfront.

We’re being cheered along by staff from Active Island Tours & Events, a local company that offers running and walking excursions and has partnered with RFFC organizers on our first shore-side run of what will…

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