MADRID, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Around 500 people ran past some of the most emblematic sites of Madrid in a 5 km mini-marathon on Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary of the inauguration of the train line between Madrid and China's Yiwu.
"It has been a success: Sport is the perfect way to unite the values of Spanish and Chinese cultures," commented Jose Parra, the director of the athletics club which organized the event to Xinhua.
The runners passed such emblematic sites as the Prado Museum, the Atocha railway station and the Neptuno and Cibeles fountains, to honor the four-year-long rail link which has been in operation as part of China's Silk Road and Belt initiative.
"It has been four years since the line was opened on Nov. 18, 2014. It is a very good date which brings good luck in Chinese culture," explained Fu Chunming, the deputy secretary of the standing committee of the Municipal People's Congress of Yiwu.
He added that the event begins a week of activities to explain the work of the longest rail connection in the world, which connects the Spanish capital and the city of Yiwu, in Zhejiang Province in eastern China.
The Madrid City Hall also showed its gratitude to the commercial project symbolized by the train and the race held in its honor.
"(The race) covers an unforgettable route, because it crosses the most important and the most visited places in our city," explained the Coordinator for the Madrid Mayor's office, Luis Cueto, who added that activities such as the race aided to integration of the Chinese community in Spain.
"It is interesting for the Chinese community in Madrid to get out and be visible in acts such as this, which are not exclusive to their culture and which are shared with all of the city."
"This is one of the first times that the Chinese population has been integrated with that of Madrid," explained Cueto.
The President of the Association of Chinese People in Spain, Mai Feng, agreed with Cueto over the importance of sporting events such as the mini-marathon.
"It is very good for us to organize events like this together with our Spanish friends. It is very interesting for our community," he said.
The Madrid-Yiwu train takes three weeks to travel the 13,000 kilometers between the two cities, crossing 8 countries (Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and China) as it does so.
There are currently two trains a week linking the two nations with China sending a wide range of products to Spain, while the Spanish in general send goods such as wine, olive oil or cured ham to China.