There are plenty of organized runs in South Florida, but only the Carnaval Miami Run starts with a marching band and ends with salsa music.
"We want it to be a fun family event, where you can bring your kids and have a good time," run co-chairman Michael Carmona says. "And at the end of the race, we create a fun atmosphere."
Organized by Carnaval Miami and the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, the run will begin 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. Participants can enter a 5K or an 8K run. There are categories for different age groups, including under 14 and over 70, and even a run for children younger than 2.
Besides listening to Latin music at the starting and finish lines, runners can enjoy fresh fruits, cold beer and arroz con pollo at the completion of the race. Face-painting will be available for children.
"After the race activities, there's a party, music and fruits for the runners to replace all the potassium and minerals they lost sweating," co-chairman Enrique Pousada says. "We do it in a form that it can be fun for both the avid runner and the families."
Most of the proceeds from the run will benefit the Children's Cancer Caring Center, with a portion going to the Kiwanis Club. Last year, the event raised $10,000 for the Cancer Center.
"We would like to increase the number this year from $10,000 to $15,000, but it depends on the number of runners who participate," Pousada says.
About 1,200 runners are expected to participate.
The Carnaval Miami Run will begin at 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, in Key Biscayne. Registration costs $40 for the 8K, $35 for the 5K, $10 for grades K-12 and is free for the Kiddie Dash. Go to CarnavalMiami.com.
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