We'll be at CN for the 1st time (5x CSS, 1x CSA) in a couple of weeks and was wondering how the beach was for running. How far from end-to-end, what the sand was like, etc. Looking forward to a morning run followed by a dip in the sea.
You've got about 2 miles on bloody bay. You can head in one direction, run to the end, and then turn around, pass CN and run to the other end again. If the tide is out, it's a fantastic run on nice packed sand. If the tide is in, it's a little more of a workout, but definitely still runnable.
We stay at CSA, and love the beach for running there as well. Enjoy.
Although the entire Bloody Bay may be about 2 miles, I've found the runnable beach to be closer to 1.3 miles. Distances North and South depend on where you start on CN's beach, but from the approximate middle - straight out from the pool bar, I've logged 1.1 miles to the North, ending at the fence on the border of the ClubHotel Riu Negril and .25 miles to the South, ending at the rocky part of Grand Lido beach. There is actually a bit more beach on GL property further to the South (their AN beach I believe) but you'd have to go up and over the rocky part crossing the GL property. You can make several loops to get in a longer run. I don't think you could ever be bored running that beach and I've seen runners pass 5 or 6 times.
As Vee said, the tide can alter the flatness a bit, but it has always been easily runnable. Also at certain times the beach by the undeveloped portions can be up to 20 yards wide or only a few feet from the trees (meaning you get a workout zig zagging around the trees at the shoreline in that area). Either way it is a nice run and a great way to start the day.
Running barefoot you don't have to worry about rocks etc. much, but I still run in shoes most times. I tend to get blisters on my toes if I run every day barefoot. Something about the fine sand and the way I run causes them. If you run daily, I'd recommend alternating shoed/barefoot until you know whether or not you'll blister.
If you do a lot of running I would not recommend running barefoot. You really need good arch supports. The beach is soft enough to enjoy walking or short runs barefoot but running barefoot when you are used to running in shoes could hurt your feet.
I ran on the road from CN>CSA>CN. Roundtrip is 5 miles. I would go early (~6:30 a.m.) so traffic was light. Remember to run on the right side of the road as they drive on the opposite sides than the States. It is a safe run with wide shoulders.