James Kipsang, from Kenya, is the winner of this year's Saint Silvester (São Silvestre) Race, an event which has taken place on New Year's Eve in São Paulo with some changes, but without interruptions, since 1925. Kipsang reaffirms a history of success for Kenyan runners in the São Silvestre. In the women's race, the winner was Ethiopian Yimer Wude. Brazilian Fabiana Silva took second place.
Wendel Silva Soares, who won in the wheelchair category, was exhilarated about the victory in his first São Silvestre, but pointed out that there should be prizes for runners with disabilities. Fernando Aranha won the hand cycle race.
Today's race was particularly emotional as it marked a career farewell for Brazilian Vanderlei Cordeiro (see photos on UOL), winner of a bronze medal in Athens in the 2004 Olympic Games.
About 20,000 people participated in the 84th São Silvestre, most of them amateurs. Amateurs generally have a grand time in the race. Many dress up in costumes, wildly cheered by onwatchers, in the best New Year's Eve spirit of fun and partying. One of the most popular runners today was a street vendor in a Rocky Balboa costume.
Paulista Avenue, site of the race start, is now ready for an expected two million people in the New Year's Eve celebrations, featuring fireworks and a show with Babado Novo, Skank and paulista samba school Vai-Vai.