"I am free. The only thing that is important are the kilometres I have left to run"
"I have seen athletes, grandmas, kids on skates, dogs, tourists and strangers, all united in a common aim"
Every now and then, the streets of Barcelona become spaces where mass sport is practised. The El Corte Inglés race is the sports event with the highest number of participants in the city, with more than 50,000 people running or walking over 11 kilometres. The 10km Mercé Race is held as part of the programme for the city's main festival.
Both of them are held on a Sunday morning when vehicles give way to runners, under the gaze of crowds who stop to shout encouragement to friends, family and strangers.
Mass participation sports events are an opportunity for anonymous participation in a collective experience. Differences of nationality, cultural and ethnic origin or language, are left at the starting line and people from all walks of life participate equally. Motives for participating can be diverse, but everybody has one objective: to cross the finishing line.