Will Smith joins Marabana marathon race in Havana

Posted: 19-Nov-18 17:15

Yesterday, Will Smith made it to Havana for a very special reason. The U.S. actor, comedian and singer arrived in the Cuban capital to run its most popular race - the Marabana marathon. Despite the rain, Smith joined some other 6,000 Cuban and foreign runners and covered the 21 kilometres that go from El Capitolio to El Malecon, the long and leafy Avenida de los Presidentes and Carlos III before heading back to the starting point.

Will Smith joins Marabana marathon race in Havana

Will Smith is back in Havana and this time he made it there with only one thing in mind. To run the Marabana marathon, Cuba’s biggest international race of its kind, and thus become the first American Hollywood actor to do so.

Yesterday morning, Will Smith made history as he joined some other 6,000 registered participants at the starting line in front of El Capitolio. Not even the rain put a dampener on his athletic quest through the streets of Havana and he completed the course in good time, attesting to the 50-year-old actor’s good shape.

The head of Marabana’s organising committee, Carlos Gattorno had spoken to local media on Saturday, confirming Will Smith’s participation in the race and describing how he had been preparing ahead of the event.

“He trained early in the morning today, in the Prado promenade and tomorrow will join us.”

The ageless star got up before dawn yesterday and made it to Marabana’s meet-up point in the starting line facing the grand Capitolio building. The race kicked off at 7 a.m. and he ran alongside all other runners like any average participant without the slightest hint of star-like behaviour. In fact, he blended so well in the crowd that despite his stardom and popularity among Cuban fans he avoided drawing attention. His only words after crossing the finish line were:

“Very happy to be in Cuba.”

Which he actually said in perfect Spanish to local press, so his phrase was actually:

Muy contento de estar en Cuba.”

We don´t know what encouraged Will Smith to be part of this year´s Marabana race, but given this is not his first visit to Cuba and the love he has professed for this Caribbean nation on previous visits we can only conclude that he fancied getting active while admiring the Cuban capital´s striking architecture, which he had previously described as amazing.

By participating in Marabana he got to take in sights that not all tourists get to see on a Cuba holiday and without the flash of cameras following him everywhere and mobs following him. He made it from El Capitolio to the Malecon waterfront, up the Avenida de los Presidentes and along the long Carlos III avenue like any other race participant and we’re sure he relished the experience.

Unlike in his previous visits, Will Smith didn’t document his short stint in Havana with Instagram posts, showing that on this occasion he wanted to fly off the radar and be like any ordinary marathon runner.

Instead, he waited after finishing the deed to show the world he had been in Cuba with a very evocative post and an image that shows him on the driver’s seat of a classic convertible car, one of Cuba’s many old gleaming beauties, with the following caption:

"I ran half a marathon in Havana this morning. Thank you Cuba! I loved it”

Only that the caption was in perfect Spanish and actually read:

“Corrí medio maratón en La Habana esta mañana. Gracias Cuba! Me encantó!”

Now in its 32nd edition, this year’s Marabana race marks the beginning of the festivities organised as part of the celebration of Havana’s 500th birthday but also celebrating the Day of Sports and Physical Culture. This year over 4,000 Cuban racers ran the Marabana marathon alongside 1,500 runners from 52 countries, showing that the race is gaining more international fame each edition.

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