Our men in Havana
by Natasha Hickman
on: Friday, 23 September 2011
Support the Music Fund’s first Havana marathon runners
The Music Fund for Cuba has its first runners participating in the Marabana Marathon in Havana this November. Brothers Ollie and Tom Hopkins, who both live in north London, will be running the 26.2 mile course on Sunday 20 November to raise funds for providing vital equipment to MFFC projects such as the Abel Santamaría School for Visually Impaired Children in Havana.
The Marabana, which began in 1987, is the largest marathon in the Caribbean. It is part of the annual national day of Physical Culture and Sports with events taking place all over Cuba. The Marabana also includes races for disabled athletes, youth races and a half marathon and 10km option. Runners from all over the world participate in the race, whilst thousands of Cuban participants take advantage of free entry to any of the events.
The course takes the runners through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Havana, alongside the Malecón, and past many of Havana’s iconic landmarks such as the National Capitol, Revolution Square and the Sports City.
Former CSC intern Ollie said, ‘after volunteering for Cuba Solidarity Campaign, I saw the great work Music Fund for Cuba did, and decided that combining my passion for Cuba and running would be great fun. I’m sure it will be an incredible event, and the Cubans will enjoy seeing British runners taking part and showing their solidarity’.
Having both successfully completed Leicester half-marathon on 9 October 2011 as a part of the Marabana training, the Hopkins brothers are now focused on the task ahead. Tom told Cuba Si, ‘Our training has been going pretty well, but it’s the humidity that will be the greatest challenge. I have always wanted to go to Havana so I am hoping to enjoy the sights of the city on foot throughout the race’.
Ollie would like to see the trip become a regular and successful one, much like the Cycle Challenge: ‘Hopefully the trip will go well and become a regular tour for future runners and supporters of Cuba. It’s a lot of commitment to train over these cold months, but it will be worth it in the end, whilst also raising money for a great cause’.
The Hopkins brothers are hoping to raise a minimum of £2,000 for the Music Fund for Cuba. Please donate online at http://www.justgiving.com/ollieruncuba or by texting CUBA59 followed by £5 or £10 to 70070.