More than 26,000 runners took part in the 36th Madrid Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and Half Marathon Sunday, boosting Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The 42-km race attracted a record number of athletes this year, 6,000 more than last year.
In support of Madrid’s 2020 bid, Spanish paratroopers descended from the sky minutes before the start, clutching the Spanish and Madrid 2020 flags.
Before the race began Madrid Mayor Ana Botella said the city of Madrid was right behind sport, which she described as “a way of life” in the Spanish capital.
Salvador Victoria, Madrid’s regional presidential adviser and Minister for Justice, described the marathon as the Region of Madrid’s biggest sporting event and added, “this is a demonstration that we are a region and a city that lives and breathes sport, a city that desperately wants to stage these Games, a goal we have been pursuing for so long”.
Organizers estimate that this year’s marathon will generate 10 million Euros in direct revenue through increased use of transport services and more trade for hotels, restaurants and shops.