Puerto Rican man runs Miami's half-marathon backwards

Runner hopes to raise awareness about Hurricane Maria recovery efforts

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

MIAMI - A Puerto Rican man ran the Miami Half-Marathon backwards Sunday to draw attention to the plight of Puerto Rico, which is struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria.

Jorge Cruz, 34, finished the 13.1 mile route in 1 hour, 47 minutes and 12 seconds. Out of the more than 14,000 runners competing in the half-marathon, Cruz placed 1,361 -- not bad for going the wrong way.

His friend Victor Vazquez ran (frontways) along with Cruz to make sure he stayed safe.

Cruz, who ran the 5K race Saturday with his girlfriend, is hoping to set a Guinness world record.

The pair have been running races backwards for almost 10 years.

They said they want to raise consciousness to a world that sometimes seems to do things "backwards."

Backwards running -- also called reverse running, retro running or retro locomotion -- isn't unheard of. Some people tout its physical benefits because it works different muscles than forward running. The United Kingdom has held several backward running championships.

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