The Island of Montserrat
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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day on the Other Emerald Island
St. Patrick's day is huge on Montserrat. Well as huge as things can be on an island with 3000 inhabitants. Montserrat likes to proclaim itself the only place in the world, besides the Irish Republic itself, where St. Patrick’s Day is an official public holiday. What’s the connection? Like many places in the Caribbean, Montserrat’s modern traditions have roots that go way, way back. This story starts in the early 17th century, when Europeans were settling many of the islands, setting up trading posts, farms, etc. At the time, a collection of Irish Catholics had attempted to settle in St. Kitts, only to find themselves still in an uneasy situation with the island’s British Protestants who already lived there. So, they set out again, this time landing themselves in Montserrat. From then on, their strong cultural influence has thrived on the island.
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Run for Your Life in the Volcano Half-Marathon
This is a race unlike any other... Anywhere! Why? How about a course with two elevation changes of over 600 feet in under 2 miles?! And those aren’t the only large hills. There are 2 more hills that climb around 300 feet high in approximately 1 mile each. (The elevation map looks less like a course to run and more like a collection of jagged points threatening to impale weaker runners.) Then there's the heat. Oh and of course, the active volcano looming over the south extent of the course that gives the race its name. Unfortunately, the race hasn't been run since 2011, by my fingers are crossed that this crazy creation rises from the ashes (so to speak) to challenge runners from around the world again.
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