In these 37 years of the event, the Marabana – Havana Marathon has become a bridge of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of Cuba and Mexico. In fact, Mexican runners are the second nationality with the highest number of foreign participants (21%, almost one in four), only behind Americans, who represent 25%, and ahead of Colombian runners (17%), while European countries such as France, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and Germany account for 20% of international participants. For this reason, this 2023, the great athletics festival in Havana wants to maintain and even increase the participation of its Mexican neighbours.
Thus, together with the Mexican embassy in Havana, a cultural programme will be developed before and after the Marabana – Havana Marathon, in keeping with the historic relations between our peoples and runners. In addition, the company As Deportes is working to offer all the facilities to Mexican runners to participate in the 37th edition of Marabana and the hotel Tryp Habana Libre will provide special attention to Mexican runners.
A long-standing relationship
In previous editions, hundreds of runners from the Mexican nation have participated and continue to participate in the Marathon, Half Marathon 10 k and 5 k Marabana races, obtaining relevant results as absolute champions and in the different categories. Due to the characteristics of this race, many participants have worn the typical costumes of the towns that inhabit the Mexican territory. There have even been weddings between runners who chose Marabana to make it official, and it is common to see Mexican runners proudly displaying their Mexican T-shirts and running through the streets of Havana with their flag.
Likewise, Cuban runners have also participated in multiple marathons in Mexico, among which the Guadalajara, Distrito Federal, LALA Marathon and San Luis de Potosí Marathon stand out, with the maximum exponent being the triumph achieved by the Cuban marathon runner Rigoberto Mendoza in the Marathon race in the Pan-American Games in 1975, held in Mexico.
Cuba’s relations with Mexico have shown more stability than with other states on the American continent, with nearly 120 years of uninterrupted relations. Even before Cuba was constituted as a Republic, the paths between the two peoples crossed under a common purpose in pursuit of sovereignty, progress and social justice. Mexico was the only Latin American country that did not break diplomatic relations with Cuba when imperial pressures dictated it in our continent.