Cuba’s Jaen, Castillo win Marabana marathon, actor Will Smith runs half-race
Cuban runners on Sunday won the men’s and women’s 2018 Marabana marathon, in which more than 5,400 athletes participated, including 1,400 foreigners - among which was US actor Will Smith, who ran a half-marathon.
The most important race held on the island each year this time around was devoted to celebrating Physical Culture and Sports Day and the 499th anniversary of Havana’s founding.
The 32nd edition of the Marabana included a full marathon of 42.195 km (26.16 mi.), a half-marathon and a 10 kilometer run, the circuit being certified by the Association of International Marathons.
Henry Jaen won the men’s competition, retaining the title for the sixth consecutive year with a time of 2:33:59, followed by countryman Alien Reyes, about four minutes behind and Poland’s Wojciech Kopec another minute-and-a-half back.
Among the women, it was Yudisleyvis Castillo winning the race for the second year in a row with a time of 2:53:51, followed by compatriots Liuris Marta Figueredo some 17 minutes behind and Kiara Cruz another 6 minutes back.
Jaen and Castillo’s victories give them the right to participate in the 2019 Paris marathon.
Winning the half-marathon were Havana natives Luis Angel Martinez with a time of 1:11:32 and Dailin Belmonte with 1:21:28.
The US was the best-represented foreign country at this year’s race with 278 participants, including Smith, who was running the half-marathon on his second visit to Cuba after last year serving as master of ceremonies on the island for the Unesco gala for International Jazz Day.
Mexico with 90 runners and France with 84 were the other countries with sizable contingents of athletes participating in the races.