Black Sand Beach, Montserrat

Caribbean Wallpaper: Reminiscing On Racing and Rum in Montserrat

Strenuous. Grueling. Unique. Spectacular.

This time last year, Dave Keener and I were getting prepped for our trip down to Montserrat island, where Dave would be representing Uncommon Caribbean in the 2nd Annual Volcano Half Marathon… And those four words kept coming up.

Strenuous. Grueling. Unique. Spectacular.

We’d read them in the materials on the official site at They’d pepper emails from the tourism board discussing the race. They even began creeping in my own emails on the subject! In fact, I saw those first 2 scary words so much, my sadness over being sidelined by a torn meniscus sometimes flirted with turning into relief.

Of course, if you read the race wrap-up from last year, you know our experience was all four of those words and so much more. 

With this year’s race set to run on the 26th, I’ve turned to reminiscing. Sure I didn’t actually conquer the course (a fact Dave never lets me forget), but still, I can’t recommend this adventure enough. Yes, the course is strenuous, grueling, and worse (I might add words like brutal and vicious), but crossing the finish line with the Soufriere Hills Volcano as your spectacular backdrop is an experience you won’t soon forget. Add in that you’ll likely meet a decidedly unique collection of insane athletes from around the world, plus make lasting friendships with some authentically hospitable Montserratians and you start to get the idea of how special this event is. The race (rewarding as it is to complete) is only just the beginning.

Unfortunately, although my knee has healed, I’ll once again be sitting out the Volcano Half this year. Schedules and the stars just didn’t align. But that’s no reason for you to miss all the fun! Visit to register today. Then check out their Facebook page to get a head start making friends with the great people behind this truly unique event and those also lucky enough to be running this year.

As for me, there’s always next year.

Until then, I’ll be staring at the Montserratian black sand beach you see above in this week’s wallpaper and dreaming of sampling more of Mizer’s bush rum down in Salem.

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Last updated by Patrick Bennett on .

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