Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
3.4
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
3.4
PRODUCTION
2.8
SWAG
2.4
Travel to Cuba has become more popular and enticing, yet challenges still exist to go there. The Marabana offers race distances of a marathon, half-marathon and 10K. Havana is the capital of the Republic of Cuba. Due to its geographical position and the excellent qualities of its bay, it was … MORE
Local Weather (Nov 10)
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L (°C) 21 20 18 22 20
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Recent reviews

    YanisNanashi FIRST-TIMER '17

    Anyone who has already been to Cuba might know that Cuba is very special and so is the Marathon. The expo took place in a first class hotel at the … MORE

    Anyone who has already been to Cuba might know that Cuba is very special and so is the Marathon.

    The expo took place in a first class hotel at the Malecon around 5-6 km out of the city. Every runner got a T-Shirt and a base cap together with the bib. Some cubans tried to sell other T-Shirts or Singlets illegally and I was very happy to get a very special Cuban Singlet in a dark corner of the hotel.
    Start of the race was at 7 am the next morning. All races (5/10/21/42) started at the same time which means that it was a huge crowd which was not organized in corrals. Even people who not even wanted to run stepped into the starting area to be with their beloved ones till the race began. The first km was quite hard running zick zack all the time, but then it got better. The best part of the race was km 2-6 when we ran along the Malecon. The light was awesome and fishermen stood along the way doing their job early in the morning. The rest of the race was quite boring with a few uphill parts. It got more interesting again at the end when we passed by Revolution Square, ran through an amazing beautifl street of downtown before finishing at the famous Capitol. Water was provided very frequently but unfortunately the bottles where very hard to open. There was almost no crowd at the course. The worst part of the race was the finish: the finisher of the half marathon and runners of the full marathon were not divided into 2 lanes – I just thought “poor 42k runners” who had to find their way through the crowd. I could not find any drinks in the finish and as they ran out of medals I did not get a medal – I finished among the first 30 % of all half marathon runners…. It was very frustrating and as I was thirsty I was happy to leave the finish area immediately.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    JoJoRunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    ... when it comes to several points of the atmosphere and race production. I ve been wanting to run Marabana for years and finally made that move: As a non … MORE

    … when it comes to several points of the atmosphere and race production.
    I ve been wanting to run Marabana for years and finally made that move:
    As a non US-resident, I could register directly with the race organisers. As far as I am aware, one has to book through a tour provider if you hold a US passport. Bib number pick up was on different places for locals and international starters (5k, 10k, half and full marathon options). “Our marathon exhibition” was in an assembly room of a luxury hotel at the Malecon/ the bayshore promenade. We got a shirt and basecap, but there were no other vendors/ exhibitors as you know it from other races of that size. The race started at 7am and it felt a bit chaotic when hundreds of locals (of which most were about to go on their first ever race) were squeezed in the starting area. Hence there were no corals or different starting times for the different distances, it really was a big slaloming in the beginning. One lap along the Malecon and later deeper into the city passing the national theater and Revolution Square is 13.1miles/21.1km. So for the full marathon (that was only finished by about 400 runners) I had to go on a second lap. And boy was I lonely on my lap. Even though there was water every mile (highly appreciated in these carribean temperatures around 27°C) there were hardly any people out cheering and even most of the volunteers were hardly really “there”. Parts of the streets were opened for the traffic again and i almost got hit by a bus that tried to squeeze in its turn to the right while I was running on the right lane. Other than that, the police and volunteers did a really good job in having the runners run smoothly and stopping traffic. The finish line and the last couple hundred yards is running towards the Capitol of Havanna and was a spectecular look. I heard some runners didnt get a medal, and rumours have it I got a wrong medal… there was no post race nutrition/ drinks but water. The lines to get your dropped clothing were long, but I had a friend there waiting for me with my shoes to change into.
    People will ask you for your shoes, so if you want to donate some running shoes or running equipment: bring it along and enjoy the Cuban sun.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Vero.runner REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This was my 17th marathon and it was a great adventure, thanks to Marathon Tours. They packaged a 4-day trip with all of the must-stops in Havana, and took care … MORE

    This was my 17th marathon and it was a great adventure, thanks to Marathon Tours. They packaged a 4-day trip with all of the must-stops in Havana, and took care of all of our needs. I would not run this race any other way. The course was scenic. There was plenty of water along the way that was given out by volunteers in sealed bags. You had to be a little careful to not slip on a discarded water bag. For me, the biggest challenge, was the car exhaust. Being a Sunday morning, every one is on their way to church or the market. Cars were backed up for blocks, waiting for us to cross the intersection, with their leaded gasoline cars, spewing exhaust. fortunately, I ran with a bandana, and used it to cover my mouth. The only other negative was that I learned that I placed first in my age group after I returned home. The medal is waiting for my in Havana as they are not allowed to mail it to me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 18, 2017 at 9:32pm

    Wow, sounds like a bittersweet day, Linda. Most importantly, glad you enjoyed running Havana with Marathon Tours, and CONGRATS on your age group victory – you don't need a medal… MORE

    Wow, sounds like a bittersweet day, Linda. Most importantly, glad you enjoyed running Havana with Marathon Tours, and CONGRATS on your age group victory – you don't need a medal to know you earned it. And based on all the traffic along the course, I guess it's safe to say you were "exhausted" by the end of the race? ;) Thanks for the excellent review, and hope you'll share more of your running adventures here on RaceRaves! LESS

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    cbielinski FIRST-TIMER '16

    I ran this race through #MarathonTours and it was a much more interesting trip and race than I originally though it would be. The marathon is two laps of the … MORE

    I ran this race through #MarathonTours and it was a much more interesting trip and race than I originally though it would be. The marathon is two laps of the 1/2 marathon course with some nice sections along the ocean. Although it is November it was warm and humid but luckily they have many aid stations. They handed out water in bags and some sort of flavored water in various colors along with ice during the second lap. I ended up running faster than I thought I would due to the heat and humidity.

    Cuba was a fascinating place to visit and I highly recommend going there to find out what it is like yourself. Run in an old pair of running shoes that way you can give them to somebody there (people ask you for them after the race and many could really use them!). I brought along extra running gear, toiletries, etc. and we gave it to people because there are many things in short supply there.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Tweetrunner FIRST-TIMER '16

    The people of Cuba/Havana are very kind and welcoming! The race is held in November, so it's warm and humid. Be prepared for that and the fact that they aren't … MORE

    The people of Cuba/Havana are very kind and welcoming! The race is held in November, so it’s warm and humid. Be prepared for that and the fact that they aren’t able to supply Gatorade on the course (only “bags” of flavored water). The marathon is 2 loops of the half marathon course. The course is relatively flat with a few small inclines. Don’t be surprised if someone runs up next to you during the race and asks for your running shoes. It’s very difficult for the Cubans to afford running shoes. It was a nice experience. Marathon Tours did a great job of preparing the runners for what to expect. #MarathonTours

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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  2. Havana Marathon & Half (Marabana)