Miami Runs in Spanish
Most of the 24,000 runners participated in the Miami marathon last weekend spoke Spanish.
While ‘Jonas’ blizzard left completely snowed the northeastern of United States, others in the southeast, enjoyed outdoors one of the most famous competitions in Florida State. Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon have celebrated their 14th editionin a city always wished (especially if you’re in the winter of the northern hemisphere). While this year the cold has been higher than normal- 44 degree temperature- its mild temperatures make the climate one of the strong points of the event: «After running you can go to the beach in the middle of January», says Frankie Ruiz, founder of the race.
On the other side of the phone, I can guess the smile of a man whose blood not only carries cuban roots, also lot of sport: «I started running with my dad when I was 10 years old. I have been lucky to be able to run New York Marathon, Bogota Marathon, also Miami and different triathlons. Miami is special. I recommend to runners run slower the first miles. From my experience, they have to enjoy the energy of the city».
Another advantage of Miami Marathon is the simple registration process. The web page ensures you a start-number without the need of race times, unlike Boston, or New York. Due to all of these reasons, Miami Marathon is becoming more and more runners: «We started with 3,400 runners and this year we expect eight times more than 2003», says Ruiz and it was. Last Sunday, more than 23,000 people running in the city and most of them were spanish speakers.
We talk about a lot of Latin American people, who travel only for the competition. Also the natives; they are the result of decades of Latin American immigration in the city. Already this race, 25% of the runners arrive from outside United States of America. In this respect, we may make special mention of the fact that the event evolved from a local race to international attracting a lot of participants from Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica or Perú: «My goal is to get 50% international runners in ten years’ time. I want a multicultural race, like Miami. I would call it, Americas Race», clarifies its founder. This is a wise point of view considering the importance of Latin American market in United States, in addition to the economic impact that a Marathon has.
According to a study made by Temple University, the last year Miami had 50 million dollars in profit thanks to the race. «This year, the perspectives evince growth forecasts because there is a lot of people that seize the opportunity for visiting the city», explains Ruiz.Miami-Dade County feels the same way; Mayor, Carlos A. Giménez, says that «it’s a privilege reward the effort of these extraordinary athletes».
Regarding the sponsors, also the good forecasts continue to grow. A lot of leading brands want to engage in such projects, especially in United States, a country where the workout is part of the americans daily routine. In the case of Miami Marathon, we talk about more than ten sponsors: Panasonic, Geico, Endurance, besides municipal institutions. Also, leading companies, such as Microsoft, Motorola or Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, have encouraged their staff to running and training all together.
It’s a good idea: Teamwork and motivation, the basis of any project that furthers success. If anyone doubt it, ask Patricio Navas. At 5:30 am, he located himself on the start-line with a story, a promise and a trip: The story talks about a man from El Salvador, who had a kidney cancer operation 11 months ago. The promise (fulfilled) was to God, to whom promised to take care of himself in exchange for more time with his wife and his children. And the trip? The trip will be to Guatemala, in order to running the Marathon. There, Patricio will break more barriers and he will fulfill again with the principles of a good runner: Effort, constancy and personal growth. Although Patricio never will have the same mark than a professional athlete, he should know that has already the best trophy.