Marabana, a race blessed by rain
Cubaplus: Courtesy of Prensa Latina
A persistent rain could not stop the start of the 33rd edition of the traditional Marabana race, which took place on Sunday in Havana, as a tribute to the 500th anniversary of the Villa de San Cristobal de La Habana.
Just at 06:30 hours, local time, some 5,858 runners departed from the Central Park, on Paseo del Prado Avenue, in an atmosphere of pure excitement. 'Cuba rose up against Spanish colonialism in 1868 through the sound of bells,' Marabana-Maracuba Project Director Carlos Gattorno told Prensa Latina. 'That is why; we are the only ones in the world who use this system to start this competition.' The United States, Mexico, Colombia, France and Spain had the largest delegations. 'About 400 US athletes are participating in the competition, despite the US government's restrictions,' he said. The 42-kilometer and 195-meter race will cover some of the most beautiful historic sites in the. 'Running this event is always important to me,' Misleidis Vargas, from Artemisa province, said. Just a few minutes before the start, participants paid tribute to Cuba National Hero Jose Marti by laying a floral wreath at his statue in the Central Park. The athletes also honored marathoner Felix 'El Andarin' Carvajal, 115 years after he finished in fourth place in the San Luis Olympic Games.