The first Sunday in November is marathon day in New York. And so, for the 49th year in a row, thousands of runners from all points of the globe took the starting gun in one of the world's largest and most celebrated athletic events.
In the middle of that sporting and media melting-pot, a group of Catalans taking part in the 26 mile race posed for a photo with estelades - Catalan independence flags - at one of the most emblematic points of the city, Times Square, where 7th Avenue meets Broadway.
Catalans que demà corren la Marató de Nova York fan sentir la nostra veu al món, a Times Square #LlibertatPresosPolítics #LlibertatPresosPoliticsiExiliats #UsVolemACasa #Independència pic.twitter.com/0ixHj65Zju— Joan Piqué Serra 🎗 (@joanpique1) 3 de novembre de 2018
Catalans who tomorrow run the New York Marathon make our voice heard to the world, at Times Square #FreedomPolitical Prisoners #FreedomPolitical PrisonersandExiles #WeWantYouHome #Independence
This was the small action that this group of Catalan runners took to make a point about Spain's repression of Catalonia's independence process and its political leaders, who are in exile or held in preventive prison. As it happens, the gesture comes a day after Spanish prosecutors presented their indictment documents for the prisoners, including demands of prison sentences of 7 to 25 years for an alleged offence of rebellion.
On Sunday morning, they would have lined up near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge for the start of the big race, along with 50,000 others. This year's New York Marathon men's race was narrowly won by Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia who reached the Central Park finish line in 2 hours 5 minutes 59 seconds, while the winner of the women's race was Kenyan runner Mary Keitany in 2h 22m 48s.