The Inaugural Royal 5K highlights ESPN International’s Royal 5K St. Maarten, a lifestyle, running and fitness show to be aired on the ESPN Caribbean network on January 27, 2011, at 7 p.m. and the ESPN2 Caribbean network on January 28 at 3 p.m.

The half-hour special will capture the excitement and beauty of Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas seven-night cruise through the Eastern Caribbean, focusing on a healthy lifestyle through running.  

The Royal 5K St. Maarten show will follow the cruise itinerary, which features a variety of vitality-themed activities especially geared to running enthusiasts of all abilities.  The activities, including the Royal 5K, will be open to the first 500 cruise guests who sign up.

Commentators for the Royal 5K St. Maarten show  are Joanna “Jo” Ankier, a former British record-holder in the 1500-meter and 3000-meter steeplechase; and  Annette Raveneau, a reporter and producer for Univision Network and Entravision Communications.

The Royal 5K St. Maarten show features:
•    a Fun Run in Nassau, the Bahamas, with breathtaking views of Paradise Island;
•    a one-mile race on the Allure of the Seas’ 0.46-mile running track, the longest track at sea; participants will attempt to set the cruise line’s record time for the mile at sea;
•    seminars with elite athletes for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners;
•    the Royal 5K, including the race start and finish at the A.C. Wathney Pier & Port Facility, as well as the course along the boardwalk, parallel to the beach.

The elite athletes mentoring the participants include Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic gold medalist and 1976 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon; Sean Jefferson, a six-time All-American track star at Indiana University and currently a professional triathlete; and Bart Yasso, America’s “Mayor of Running.”

“I know from past experience how much fun it is to combine a cruise vacation with my passion for running,” said Shorter. “That is why I am so looking forward to sharing my 40 plus years of accumulated knowledge and experience with my fellow cruisers who also enjoy running while relaxing and recharging. The Allure of The Seas certainly has room for us to stretch our legs and is a great combination with the Royal 5k on St. Maarten to  give us a truly different tour of the island.”  

Bart Yasso added, “I'm excited about being part of the inaugural Royal 5K run.  No better location in the Caribbean than the beautiful island of St. Maarten!”