Cuban Trail Team: Dreaming in the roots, each step towards a better world

Cuban Trail Team: Dreaming in the roots, each step towards a better world
Fecha de publicación: 
11 February 2022
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I, who have climbed the Turquino peak, the highest mountain in Cuba, four times through Santiago de Cuba, can hardly imagine the effort of climbing the Teide (3,718m), the highest elevation point in Spain, from Playa del Socorro, at sea level, and covering a route of 33 kilometers and almost 4,000 meters in about nine hours.

I imagine the gasping breath, the strength reaching the limit, the reserve “fuel” showing signs of alarm, the dawn and the sunset dictating the start and the finish line, and on the horizon… the dreams, the motivation, that combination that makes Reinier Peñarroche and his team of the Cuban Trail Team —scattered throughout a dozen countries— continue to believe that every step may turn the world into a better place.

That is why they challenge the mountains. They try to get closer to the sky, not to look down on their peers, but to look for points of convergence in favor of the preservation of the environment, and of a cause as ennobling as the human condition itself: to contribute with funds and actions to research and fight against cancer.

The Cuban Trail Team is, today, a multicultural family with an unusual genesis of Cuban roots, united by ties that honor its Martian paradigm that "climbing mountains bonds men forever," imbricated with an adage of our popular speech: “I go fast and have no brakes.”

And yes, they certainly seem to be a group of workhorse men and women, with an impressive unifying capacity, who easily exceed a hundred members who defy heights and conquer them in search of dreams, careers, solidarity, well-being, change…

Thus, what began as a funny experience for Reinier and a small group of friends, sealed with a good Cuban rum and a Cuban cigar, has been, since April 19, 2019, a way of life, a way of persevering, challenging the impossible, create a culture of brotherhood and discipline, and, in the particular case of Reinier, it changed the purpose of his life after the birth of his son, as he focused on becoming that man to whom his little child could always look at, as an example, a referent.

Feeling Cuba every step of the way is like breathing

Reinier is a crack. I would like to define him that way. He is a biomedical engineer graduated from the Marta Abreu Central University in Villa Clara. He is huge fan of baseball and the Sancti Spiritus Gallos. He has been able to bring that culture of Trail Running to nations like Spain, United States, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Venezuela, England, Chile, Peru, and of course, Cuba.

For this reason, this Sunday's event, in which the Cuban Trail Team — made up of members from all over the country— was officially created and strengthened in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, became a first victory, especially after having competed in the Cacahual Trail this Saturday, defying the a very cold weather, and with a real expression of everything built for more than two years, Atlantic Ocean in between.

In addition, the 2022 schedule for the Cuban Trail Team in Cuban scenarios was finally revealed. It includes, from May 20-22, three stages for the Trail Planta Cantú, to be held in the Escambray mountains of Sancti Spiritus; the second edition of Plogging in Cuba on June 5; the Pink October; the race for Diabetes in November; and Movember in that same month. All with key goals such as growing in membership, and materializing concrete actions in favor of environmental preservation and the fight against cancer.

Commenting on the essence of the Cuban Trail Team, Peñarroche, a disciplined and persevering dreamer told Cubasí: “It is about adding people with the hobby of playing sports, as a large community or family, and promoting common values ​​such as discipline and perseverance.

Our main activity is Trail Running (mountain races) and also asphalt races in all its forms. We do other sports such as swimming, cycling, paddle tennis, tennis, judo, triathlon, duathlon and mountain biking (MTB), although to a lesser extent.”

Thus, the Management Committee of this great family is made up of Reinier Peñarroche as President; Yuniel Castro, Vice President; Gerard Gumbau, secretary; Jordi Valladares, treasurer, and Roberto Carlos, as spokeperson.

Regarding the idea of Trail Running in our country, Peñarroche commented that “it is about planting that idea of, as Cubans, leaving our imprint and a piece of our roots wherever we go, at any latitude we run, any elevation we challenge.

In Cuba, we initially tried to spark that interest of going to the mountains and that is already a fact. We have strengthened our ties with nearly all provinces of the country. Now, with clearer and earthlier goals, and in order to contribute by raising funds in their races or events, they have teamed up with the NGO Camaquito International, thanks to good friend Mark Kuster.”

In Cuba, they aim to break or set a new record that could well be daring to run upward the Turquino peak, or just crossing the Escambray...That added to the participation in solidarity events to maintain the essence and meaning of each kilometer traveled, as happens in Spain with the Fero Foundation (, with which they collaborate in races so that the profits raised can be used in research and the fight against cancer.

Humanism running high, as well as the feeling of portraying Cuba and our flag every challenge. “It is the greatest feeling in the world. We are very proud of who we are and where we come from. We are champions of our roots and culture, and that is exactly what characterizes us and differentiates us from the rest of the teams.”

The Cuban Trail Team bonds people, and as Peñarroche says, the warriors are the members of the club, common men, with stories carved under the strength of their legs. Thus we find the footsteps of Raúl García Cuervo, who ran uninterruptedly for 300 days; or Higinio Hernández, who on his 64th birthday and after more than 20 editions of Marabana under his belt, ran 64 kilometers.

Or Luis Edel, who accumulated 4,000 kilometers in a year, and rode 320 kilometers by bike, 60 kilometers running and one triathlon in one weekend; and Mr. Meneses, capable of running more than a hundred kilometers in one day twice.

As Peñarroche himself would say: Awesome!!! As are humbleness, the desire to transform the world for the better, to continue dreaming, running, loving...twinned and definitely without brakes.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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