With costumes, the tuxedo already put, tutus, headbands, glasses, wigs and fancy hats. Allusive to the end of the year, to Christmas, dressed as Santa Claus, Three Kings, camels or superheroes. With family, friends or pets. Of any age and condition, a total of 12,001 people gathered at the end of the year to meet what is already an unmissable date of December 31: run the Hospital Perpetuo Socorro of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The three first classified in the adult male race were Saul Castro Santana, of the HPS Triathlon team, with a time of 18 minutes; followed by Alejandro Santana González, with 18 minutes and eight seconds, the same time as the British Scott Fraser, requiring the intervention of the judges. More impossible emotion.
In the women's race the victory was again for Kerstin Engelmann-Pilger, of the 3Com Squad team, with a time of 22 minutes and 25 seconds, completing the podium Beatriz Rodríguez Gutiérrez, with a time of 22 minutes and 36 seconds, and the Norwegian Lone Karin Brochmann, with 22 minutes and 38 seconds.
On the contrary, the last ones finished skimming the hour and a half being received between applause and with as much illusion as the first ones. In fact, runners waiting for their friends to cross the finish line together, or groups stopping to dance at the traffic lights were the tonic of a test in which fun, solidarity and good vibes were, once again, the protagonists and it closed with the delivery of prizes to the first classified in the general and the raffle of gifts for the participants.
The traditional human tide, which is almost a tsunami, took the streets of the capital to enjoy a race in which colors, good vibes, sports and solidarity come together to create an environment in which smiles are a mark of home. With 47% female participation and 53% male, it is also one of the most gender-matched races.
And it is that the HPS San Silvestre not only engages those who try it, among which it usually becomes an authentic tradition, but every year adds new followers. Proof of this are the thousand participants more than in its edition of 2017 that make it the third largest end-of-year race of the more than 200 that are celebrated throughout the national geography, after the Vallecana de Madrid and the Valencian one, and already surpassing already to its homologo Barcelonan.
It is not for less. The good weather that accompanies it, with spring temperatures that allow running in short sleeves in December; its strong solidarity character, and its festive and inclusive atmosphere, which invites people of all physical condition and age to participate, and even its pets, make this test an irresistible cocktail. And the most healthy, attracting every year people of different nationalities and from other islands and corners of the peninsular geography. At the start, participants from more than 40 nationalities as well as runners from the Peninsula and the rest of the archipelago joined. Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Poland and Mexico lead the countries with the most participants in a list that includes even Japan.
In fact, the event was attended by the German athlete and journalist David Valentin, who will write about HPS San Silvestre in the sports environment Laufzeit & Condition to continue with its internationalization.
The party began with the children's race, which also broke record of participation with 846 registered. In carts the smallest and full of energy the older ones, alone or accompanied by their parents, completed the 600 meters of the route with some nice clowns that caused much laughter among the kids.
The challenge of Marcos Yánez
Shortly before the beginning of the race, the arrival of the Marcos Yánez runner came after a tour of different points of Gran Canaria, raising awareness of the need to donate bone marrow to save lives. The race, framed in the campaign undertaken to encourage donations by Hospital Perpetuo Socorro, concluded with its participation in the HPS San Silvestre, which in this way increased its solidarity objectives.
At 17.00 it was the turn of the adult test, with 11,162 participants who were distributed among the fastest box, in search of a brand, and the vast majority who made the tour even walking, with the Canarian Television as an exceptional witness, that one more year he relayed the race live. And in the HPS San Silvestre competitiveness is the least important, what prevails is the desire to have a good time doing some sport that activates the endorphins and help with the remorse of the end of the year dinner.
After the solidary warm-up, the Duke's band of Manolo Guerra, accompanied this year by Juan Dávila, of Swingstars, were the ones in charge with their altruistic performance of welcoming the 12,000 participants and the present audience assuming the starting signal of the race.
And in this test, solidarity occupies a predominant place and everyone does their bit for the sake of helping others. Therefore, the full amount of the inscriptions goes to the social projects managed by the Spanish Association Against Cancer, Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid, Doctors of the World, Children's Villages, Alejandro Da Foundation Silva, UNICEF and Red Cross.
Given the huge number of participants, the fastest ones far exceeded half the route while some were still crossing the starting line. In fact, the last runner started the test about 15 minutes after doing the first.
From the exit, located on Leon y Castillo street, at the height of the Romano Park, the corridors were turned to the left by Juan XXIII street, to continue on the right hand side by Luis Doreste Silva in the opposite direction. The race continued through Venegas and Rafael Cabrera, turning right in the opposite direction on the Carretera del Centro (GC-110), at the height of Obispo Codina entering Juan de Quesada street. Later it turned to the right at the height of Juan de Quesada, 11, to exit to the Carretera del Centro (GC-110) again in the direction of circulation at the height of Obispo Codina with Muro street and passed to the Carretera del Centro in the direction opposite passing in front of Plaza Hurtado de Mendoza to continue along Lentini Street, turning left to continue through Rafael de Cabrera south direction in front of the Pérez Galdós Theater, continue to the left by Miguel de Cervantes and Calle Losero turning right to continue on Francisco Gourié and again on the left he went on Calle Triana. Finally he continued throughout León and Castillo to finish.
A complete assistance team
Hospital Perpetuo Socorro, in addition to sponsoring the race, once again acted as an official medical service, taking care of the health of all its participants and the public present. Cramps, contractures and dehydration occupied the bulk of the medical interventions that, however, required in some cases transfer to the hospital center to continue assistance, diagnosis and treatment.
For his work, Hospital Perpetuo Socorro made available to the test two complete hospitals equipped to face any event located on the finish line and in the area of the Teatro Pérez Galdós. Among its staff were intensive care physicians, pediatricians, traumatologists, university graduates in nursing (DUE) and auxiliaries as well as six ambulances and three rapid intervention vehicles. In total, around thirty professionals in the field of health, six ambulances and three vehicles of rapid intervention to meet as quickly as possible any medical contingency in a device commanded by Dr. Clara Quintana, specialist in Sports Medicine and responsible of this unit in Hospital Perpetuo Socorro.
Also, the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria established a special traffic device by the Local Police, with 70 police officers and mobility agents, and one cleaning with 16 workers. Some 400 volunteers coordinated by the Trican Sports Club also collaborated with Protección Civil to add more than 500 people who took care of the race to conclude without any notable incidents.