Cruise Ship to Host 5k Run for Passengers

Calling all runners. Royal Caribbean will host a "Royal 5k" for cruise passengers in St. Maarten on December 16.

The run -- basically an unusual version of a shore excursion -- is open to guests on the December 12, eastern Caribbean sailing of the brand new, 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas, which debuts next month as the world's largest ship.

Passengers are invited to jog, sprint or walk the five-kilometer course on the island, the cruise line says.

There is a registration fee of $50 for adults, $35 for children. Guests can sign up onboard the ship or in advance. Run participants will receive a commemorative race t-shirt, as well as exclusive access to a post-race shipboard reception.

On the 225,282-ton ship that week there will also be "exclusive, vitality-themed activities, including port explorations through group fun runs, onboard seminars and lectures with high-profile athletes," the cruise line says.

Among the experts will be Bart Yasso, the chief running officer of "Runner's World" magazine; Frank Shorter, the Olympic Marathon Gold and Silver Medalist; Sonja Friend-Uhl, currently ranked in the top 24 women in the U.S. for distances from the 5k to the Half-Marathon; and Sean Jefferson, an NCAA All American and 1600m National Champion.

Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, for Royal Caribbean International, says the race is part of the line's commitment to providing guests with "healthier vacation options."

The ship will also offer a chance for guests to set the "first Royal Caribbean onboard jogging track record" on December 14. The ship's 0.46-mile-long jogging track is the longest at sea, Royal Caribbean says.

As usual, carbs will be available aplenty in the ship's restaurants and buffet.

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