Havana Marathon draws runners from 45 countries

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At least 3,000 runners are set to take part in Cuba's annual Havana Marathon, or Marabana, this Nov. 20, including 674 foreign competitors from 45 countries, local media reported on Saturday.

According to the organizers, foreign runners registered to compete are mainly from the United States, Germany, Spain, Norway and Mexico.

Some 2,500 Cuban runners have registered so far, but that number may still change as nationals take part in two upcoming pre-marathon qualifiers, the Race for (Nelson) Mandela on July 17, and a half marathon on Aug. 13.

In 2015, the Marabana drew a record number of runners, nearly 5,000, including more than 1,500 foreigners from 62 countries.

That was the first Marabana to take place following the historic announcement by Cuba and the U.S. of their decision to restore diplomatic ties.

Cuban marathoner and police officer Jorge Luis Suarez won the men's race last year -- for the fourth year in a row -- with a time of 2:29:30, while Tonje Granne Kvala, a Norwegian medical student, won the women's race (3:28:23).

Kvala, 22, became only the second foreign woman to ever win the Marabana, after Italian runner Anna Zachi won in 1993.

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